E-commerce may cause economic discrepancy, former minister says

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta

Jakarta, posted: Wed, April 5, 2017 | 02:48 pm

Indonesia Economic Forum chairman Chairul Tanjung (left), 2003 Nobel laureate for economics Robert F. Engle (middle) and Deposit Insurance Corporation (LPS) chairman Halim Alamsyah talk in Jakarta on Feb. 21. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Businessman and Indonesia Economic Forum chairman Chairul Tanjung has expressed worry that the fast-growing e-commerce business may worsen Indonesia’s economic discrepancy as it could increase unemployment.

He told a discussion with 100 economists at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) building in Jakarta on Tuesday that e-commerce business would grow faster in the country as it entered the era of "Revolution 4.0" as technology could take over most human functions.

“We are now so proud of e-commerce and if later e-commerce has been Indonesia-ed, our small traders will be discharged, as they can no longer compete,” said Chairul, whose CT Corp manages subsidiaries operating in financial services, media, retail, lifestyle, entertainment and plantation businesses.

(Read also: Indonesia wants to lead the region in e-commerce)

To solve the problem, he called on all elements in the business and government sectors to make concerted efforts to improve the quality of Indonesia’s human resources, not only in terms of their productivity and efficiency, but also their creativity, innovation and sense of entrepreneurship.

Chairul served as coordinating economic minister in 2014, in the last few months of then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration.

Indonesia’s economy has been rapidly growing, especially in the e-commerce sector, with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo expecting to turn Indonesia into the biggest digital economy in Southeast Asia by 2020 with a targeted value of US$130 billion. (yon/hwa)

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