2019 Economic Outlook, MSME Opportunity in the Digital Era and Challenge in the Political Year
Medan, 19 July 2018 – PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk (BTPN) dan Bisnis Indonesia daily held the Entrepreneur Networking Forum. The discussion took a theme of “2019 Economic Outlook: MSME Opportunity in the Digital Era and Challenge in the Political Year” and featured INDEF (Institute for Development of Economics and Finance) economist Bhima Yudhistira dan BTPN Business Strategy & Alignment Head Business Banking Michael Jermia Tjahjamulia. Bisnis Indonesia editor-in-chief Hery Trianto served as the moderator of the discussion.
The discussion talked about opportunities and challenges faced by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) businesses in 2019 which is a year of politics and in the era of digital technology. Michael said that as a bank with vision of making a difference in the lives of millions of Indonesians, BTPN has believed that innovation was the key for growth.
One of BTPN’s innovations is BTPN Mitra Bisnis, which is a business unit specially designed to serve different needs from the MSME through reliable financial solution, business capacity development and opening access to a wider market.
BTPN Mitra Bisnis is present with various products and banking services to meet the need of the customers’ working capital and investment. Apart from financing, BTPN Mitra Bisnis also supports the non-financial solution to help customers develop their capacity in running their business which is included in Daya Program. Daya Program is a sustainable and measureable empowerment program by BTPN to increase the customer’s capacity.
To support the business process that is oriented to customers’ need and comfort, BTPN Mitra Bisnis also uses the digital platform. Since April 2018, BTPN Mitra Bisnis has introduced a web-based digital platform called AksesBisnis@BTPN (Akses Bisnis). Through the Akses Bisnis, BTPN Mitra Bisnis customers can do any transactions anywhere anytime through their laptop or desktop browser.
“The Akses Bisnis is a customer service to do online transaction with a bigger limit without going through our branch office. The digital platform is expected to help our SME partners develop their business effectively and in return they can help boost national economic growth,” Michael said.
At the same event, INDEF economist Bhima Yudhistira estimated that Indonesia’s economy would grow by 5.2% in 2019. The logistic, transportation, construction and trade sectors will be the key factors in national economic growth. “The global demand is quite solid, but the businesses must be cautious in observing the ongoing trade war and the rupiah fluctuation due to the global change,” he added.
Meanwhile, the North Sumatra economy is projected to grow by 5.4% in 2019. The province’s annual growth in the past three years is always above the average of national economic growth at 5% (yoy) and above the average of growth in the whole Sumatra Island at 4.43% (yoy). It shows the North Sumatra’s economic resilience is quite strong amidst the domestic or global economic conditions.
The economic push factor in North Sumatra is agriculture, plantation, processing industry, trade and construction. The price of commodities, especially palm oil and rubber, is expected to help boost North Sumatra’s export.
“The key is to enlarge the added value of processing industry portion and penetrate the domestic market. The bigger the added value of North Sumatra, the less wariness of the commodity price fluctuation,” Bhima said.
Bhima was optimistic that despite the digital era and challenges in the political year, the MSME sector could still grow higher. The e-commerce has helped marketing the MSME products. Meanwhile, online transportation also helps the distribution process of the MSME products faster and cheaper from selling food to other items. “We have to foresee the economy in 2019 with optimism. The political event will bring lots of business opportunities. The most important thing is (businesses) must keep innovating and reading the situation,” he said.