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  • Mutiara Addini


Jakarta, Indonesia, March 14, 2023

The United States Agency International Development ASEAN Policy Implementation (USAID API) Project, in association with the Indonesia Ministry of Trade, is developing a comprehensive regulation analysis for Indonesia’s readiness toward the adoption of the Development of Indonesia’s Readiness Analysis toward the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (ASEAN DEFA). The study will be utilized by the MOT to prepare for the negotiation of ASEAN DEFA by creating solutions to address barriers to growth for developing Indonesia’s digital economy ecosystem.

In preparation for the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement, USAID API and MOT jointly organized a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) in Jakarta. The discussion aimed to gather insights from various stakeholders across key digital economy issues as part of a data collection activity in preparation for the ASEAN DEFA. More than 50 participants from key stakeholders in the relevant government agencies, private sector, associations, and academia participated in the event. The FGD focuses on the regulation and market gap between Indonesia and AMS on digital infrastructure, open finance, and digital trade. Ms. Dina Kurniasari, Director of ASEAN Negotiation from the Ministry of Trade, opened the discussion with an overview of the government efforts in these respective areas. In addition, Mr. Ilham Akbar Habibie, the Chief Executive of the National ICT Council, shared his perspective on Indonesia’s digital economy growth and the need to have digital leadership in the government.

Figure 1. A group photo of the MOT team led by the Director of ASEAN Negotiation, the API team led by the Program Manager, and the Center for Indonesia Policy Studies (CIPS) team

Figure 2. Director of ASEAN Negotiation of MOT and Chief Executive of National ICT Council delivers remarks at the Focus Group Discussion. (2023)

Since launching the DEFA negotiation in 2023 under Indonesia’s Priorities Economic Deliverables (PEDs), ASEAN will now conduct a regional study on the ASEAN DEFA. Once completed, the ASEAN DEFA will be a comprehensive agreement to improve ASEAN’s cooperation in the digital ecosystem while also addressing the digital and development gaps of ASEAN Member States (AMS). It includes strategies deemed to be essential for harnessing the ongoing digital transformation in the region, preparing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for digital transformation, and developing a digital-ready workforce.

Through this partnership, USAID API support AMS in meeting ASEAN-endorsed regional commitments in the digital economy under the ASEAN Economic Community pillar. The USAID API project is looking forward to strengthening the technical assistance with the government of Indonesia to achieve more milestones in developing the digital economy ecosystem.

For more information on the USAID API’s activities, please click here.


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