Jokowi’s Ambitious Plan – Taking Indonesia Into High-Tech Era

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Oct 16 2015
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When Malaysia introduced MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor) by Mahathir on Feb. 12, 1996, there were lots of “Oohh’s” and “Aahh’s”. Soon, Singapore took the shine as a high-technology country. By now, even Vietnam looks like a sure bet to become a more high-tech country than Malaysia, using its 10 start-ups with over 1-million users as a benchmark.

Vietnam Young Programmers

But soon, Malaysia may find itself fast lagging behind not only Singapore and Vietnam, but also Indonesia. After awarding its high-speed train contract to China, Indonesian President Joko Widodo is wasting no time attracting high-tech giants to his country. President Jokowi, as he is popularly known, is schedule for his first trip to the U.S. this month.


Jokowi will travel to Washington and San Francisco on a five-day trip starting Oct. 25 in the hope of attracting much-needed foreign investment to revive growth in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. There’s a specific mission though. The president is on a task to court and convince tech giants Apple and Google to invest in Indonesia.

Google Project Loon Smart Balloon To Provide Internet AccessGoogle Project Loon Smart Balloon To Provide Internet Access - Schematic Plan

He plans to visit Apple’s headquarters and have dinner with CEO Tim Cook to discuss investment in Indonesia’s tin industry to ensure the metal used in iPhones and other Apple products is produced in legal mines. Indonesia has overtaken Malaysia as the world’s largest tin exporter, with nearly all produced on the Bangka and Belitung islands off the coast of Sumatra.


As for Google, Jokowi’s visit to its headquarters includes discussion on improving wireless internet access to Papua and other remote Indonesian regions by using smart balloons. Indonesia is having huge problem connecting the whole nation digitally, thanks to its vast geographical challenge. Thus, it’s venturing into unconventional ways of providing internet access.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo and Facebook Mark Zuckerberg

President Joko Widodo is also expected to meet top executives from Facebook and Microsoft, with the intention to team up both tech giants with Indonesian universities to establish education centres that will help make the country a regional tech hub. It seems Jokowi is dead serious about attracting much-needed foreign-capital into Indonesia.


Under Widodo administration, massive “deregulation” of key industries has been introduced. Early last month, he announced new companies with a minimum investment of 1 trillion rupiah (US$71 million) in “pioneer” industries – energy, telecommunications, maritime transport and agricultural processing – would receive tax cuts of between 10% and 100% for up to 15 years.

Indonesia High Speed Train Project - China Win Contract

However, there’re still many areas to combat particularly infrastructure such as ports, roads and electricity. That’s why the high-speed train project was awarded to China, because it delivers what Jokowi wants without the financial burden. Besides tax cuts, investors are looking not attracted to high transportation costs, rigid labour market, government red tape and of course, corruption.


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Many, no ALL of our govt leaders are still living in the era gone by, failing to realized that we were ONCE one of the the best/most attractive investment destinations………..they still bury their heads in the sand, and skipping in the SAME miserable area when the whole world has moved on………

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