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U.S. Companies Offer Surabaya SMEs Digital Solutions to Access Global Markets


Surabaya, Indonesia (March 7) – More than 200 Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) owners and executives from Surabaya and surrounding cities participated in a one-day workshop entitled “Surabaya SMEs Go Digital and International,” co-organized by the US-ASEAN Business Council, the Indonesia Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs, and the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya.  
 
The workshop included opening remarks from the Mayor of Surabaya Ms. Tri Rismaharini; Deputy of Production and Marketing sector of the Indonesia Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs Mr. I Wayan Dipta; U.S. Consul General in Surabaya Ms. Heather Variava; the Council’s Indonesia Chief Representative Ms. Desi Indrimayutri; and KADIN East Java Vice Chairman of SME sector Mr. Moch. Rizal.
 
The workshop featured a panel session on empowering Indonesia SMEs to embrace the digital economy era and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and featured distinguished speakers including Mr. Ade Petranto, Director of ASEAN Economic Relations at the Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ms. Iriana Ryacudu, Head of the Indonesia Export Learning and Training Center; Mr. Wirawan ED Radianto, the Dean of School of Management and Business of Ciputra University, and Mr. Ferdy Nandes, Head of Emerging Markets, Indonesia and Philippines of Facebook. Following the panel session, Council members such as Cisco, PT HM Sampoerna Tbk., Facebook, FedEx, and Google shared their expertise on strengthening SMEs’ participation in the global value chain; optimization of digital tools and infrastructure for increased competitiveness; and increasing SMEs’ reach into global markets.
 
“The Council’s US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs creates opportunities for ASEAN’s entrepreneurs to benefit from U.S. companies’ expertise and world-class technologies,” said Desi Indrimayutri, the US-ASEAN Business Council’s Indonesia Chief Representative. “Digital tools enable small businesses to be more efficient, more profitable, and more interconnected. The Council and its members are committed to supporting SMEs in Indonesia and throughout ASEAN.”

“Digitization is enabling SMEs across ASEAN to participate in cross-border trade, allowing them to grow and scale their businesses while reducing costs. However, SMEs are at varying stages of maturity in terms of digital adoption and not all are able to dedicate resources to ICT developments. Therefore, more support from governments and corporations is needed to develop an inclusive digital economy. We at Cisco are excited to be the US-ASEAN Business Council’s main partner for ASEAN SME capacity building program this year and play a role in creating digital ecosystems across the region for SMEs.”, said Bidhan Roy, General Manager for ASEAN SMB Market & Distribution of Cisco Systems (USA) Pte Ltd.

Elvira Lianita, Head of Fiscal Affairs and Communications of PT HM Sampoerna Tbk. said, “For many years, Sampoerna has implemented SME empowerment programs that help thousands of Indonesian SMEs in East Java, such as the Sampoerna Retail Community and Sampoerna Entrepreneurship Training Center. We are pleased to continue to do so by a collaboration with the US-ASEAN Business Council.”
 
Facebook Indonesia Country Director, Sri Widowati said, “In Indonesia, more than 67% of people on Facebook are connected to a small business Page. We are committed to support small businesses build their online experience, which will help them grow and thrive and make contribution to the local economy. Since 2016, together with our partners, we have directly trained 16,000 Small-medium businesses on how to market their products and find success on Facebook and Instagram.“
 
Today’s workshop extends the Council’s long-running commitment to empowering ASEAN SMEs under the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs. Since 2011, the Alliance has conducted various capacity building programs that have benefitted more than 5,500 SMEs across all ten ASEAN countries.  

To further support ASEAN SMEs development, the Alliance launched the ASEAN SME Academy in 2016, an online portal that provides SMEs with interactive and customized training, mentoring resources and business information. The Academy can be accessed at www.asean-sme-academy.org

For further information related to this workshop and other US-ABC SME activities, please contact Vinsensius Kangen at vkangen@usasean.org.

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For more than 30 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's 150+ membership generates over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.






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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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