Finance Minister Sri Mulyani urged stakeholders to build more digital infrastructure as the digital economy would play an important role in the country’s economic growth.

She said that many parts of Indonesia have yet to enjoy the impact of the digital economy because of a lack of infrastructure such as the internet and electricity.

“We need to ensure that all parts of Indonesia could be connected through the internet so that the country could reap the benefits of the digital technology,” Sri said during a media briefing on Tuesday.

She said that some cities were still in need of digital infrastructure to allow them to use the internet, adding that the government aims for complete coverage.

“We are targeting a 100 percent electricity ratio in Indonesia but it would be no use to have electricity without the internet,” said Sri Mulyani, adding that the electricity ratio reached 98.81 percent by June.

The government is currently finishing up on the construction of a broadband network under the Palapa Ring Project to provide the country with equal high-speed internet access.

“Digital infrastructure must be built to capture the opportunity [provided] by the digital economy. As Indonesia still has a gap in infrastructure, the government would encourage infrastructure development,” said the former World Bank managing director.

Indonesia’s digital economy is poised to become the largest in Southeast Asia as its market value more than triples to US$100 billion by 2025 from $27 billion in 2018, according to the annual “e-Conomy Southeast Asia” study of 2018, conducted by tech giant Google and Singaporean holding company Temasek.

Google’s report said the digital economy is to also increase employment opportunities as the average Southeast Asian internet-based company would increase its staff by 10 percent each year.

A 2018 McKinsey report supported Google’s findings as it estimated that the digital economy could produce 3.7 million new jobs in Indonesia by 2025. (awa)