Aher: MSMEs Backbone of Economy

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Pengunjung mengamati berbagai produk kerajinan kayu pada pameran produk UMKM "Jepara Expo 2014" di Semarang, Jateng, Rabu (6/5). Pameran yang menampilkan berbagai produk UMKM Kabupaten Jepara itu untuk memperkenalkan beragam produk unggulan Jepara sehingga dikenal masyarakat. ANTARA FOTO/R. Rekotomo/nz/15.

The Ministry of Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises (KUKM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Kemkominfo) and the local governments launched the Movement of 100 thousand MSMEs Go-online simultaneously in 30 cities on Friday (3/31). The launch was to commemorate National MSMEs Day which falls on March 31.

West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan welcomed the central government’s program, in supporting the development of MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) with digital media to expand their market. He said MSMEs has become the backbone of economy both for the central and local governments. The economy is sustained by small businesses which usually survive during a crisis that makes big businesses collapse.

“In term of employment, MSMEs hire 89 percent of the workforce. The formal sector of large or labor-intensive industries actually only employ 10 percent,” said the man who is familiarly called Aher.

He added the government facilities can be utilized as a marketing tool, so that the MSMEs do not need to pay to advertise their products. With the availability of the infrastructures, Aher said MSMEs now could focus on increasing the quality of their products and continue to produce goods to meet the demand.

“Now what we need to do is encouraging the MSMEs to keep producing. Secondly, we will push them to increase the quality, to make the packaging better. So the production is there and the quality is good. Moreover, there is halal (kosher) label, nutrition table, ingredients; in short make it modern,” he said.

The number of MSMEs in Indonesia continues to grow each year. The data from the Central Statistics Bureau show the number of MSMEs in Indonesia was 56.5 million last year. Out of the 110 million total workers in Indonesia, 107 million are working in the MSMEs.

The development and empowerment of that is a strategic step in the ASEAN Economic Community, especially in the sector with significant role in increasing employment and boosting the economy of Indonesia. Recognizing the importance of the contribution of MSMEs, they are expected to be able to survive in their own country, as well as dare to compete in the global market.