Human resources main challenge for digital economy development: Economist

Senior economist Mari Elka Pangestu has said human resources posed a key challenge for Indonesia to develop its digital economy.

As the government’s ambitious target of achieving US$130 billion in e-commerce transactions in 2020 requires a lot of trained workers, Indonesian start-ups have been facing difficulties in finding adequate amounts of talent, she went on.

“Even smartphone application-based ojek [motorcycle taxi] Gojek has had to acquire two Indian companies to fulfill their need for programmers,” Mari said during a Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) seminar on the digital economy in Jakarta on Monday.

The former trade minister said that as Indonesia’s e-commerce sector got bigger, more people specialized not only in basic coding but also in web security and big data, as well as infrastructure experts, would be needed.

“We must address our need for talent with specialized skills. Coding skills can be obtained through short vocational training but people who want to get engineering skills must go through longer formal education,” Mari said.

The government is set to launch an ‘e-commerce roadmap’ as one of components of its 14th economic package. Thirty one initiatives are being prepared to tackle seven issues in the e-commerce sector, including human resources and education. (ebf)

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