Indonesia

Why the Digital Economy is Key to Growth in Indonesia

Indonesia is making strides as one of the largest internet, mobile and social media markets in the world.

Parminder Singh | Twitter

There are more Tweets sent from the city of Jakarta than from any other city on the planet. This speaks volumes about the appetite for social media and the quiet revolution driving economic resurgence in Indonesia.

With Indonesia having one of the youngest, largest and most digitally savvy demographics in the world, a recently installed government is pinning its hopes on these phenomena propelling the country into a golden age of prosperity.

The Twitter story in Indonesia is nothing short of staggering, unsurprising given that it’s one of the largest internet, mobile and social media markets in the world. With over 150 million mobile subscribers and 80 million internet users, the people of Indonesia have embraced social media.

So, why have Indonesians connected so comprehensively?

Up and Coming

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There are more Tweets sent from the city of Jakarta than from any other city on the planet.

The answers lie in Indonesia’s young and expanding population, as well as its huge consumer class. And, if there is one thing that the young and upwardly mobile consumer wants more than anything else, it is total connectivity.

Looking beyond this match made in digital heaven, we are interested to see what role Twitter and other social media platforms can play in the new, emerging Indonesia.

This is one of the themes that will be discussed at the #Twitter4Leaders gathering on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Jakarta.

Social media plays a pivotal role in helping to meet the aspirations of this brave new Indonesia, and public, real-time information networks can be a force for good in driving economic growth in this part of the world.

At Twitter, we will work to support social data innovation in Indonesia by collaborating with the United Nations Pulse Lab Jakarta (PLJ). The PLJ is a partnership between the United Nations and the Indonesian government, through the State Ministry of National Development Planning.

Twitter data will be provided for social good to support PLJ in gaining insights on pressing social development and humanitarian issues, such as food, health and pollution. With tens of millions of public Tweets sent every day, Twitter provides real-time big data insights into Indonesian society.

Millions are already keenly aware of the power of social media; but the more people we feed that message to, the more dramatic the change that can be brought about.

Growing Numbers

There is much to be positive about if you’re Indonesian. For one thing, the rising consumer class is fueling the Indonesian economy through increased consumption. In 2012, there were 45 million members of the consuming class in Indonesia, and this may grow to 135 million by 2030.

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The consumer class is always connected – which might say something about the popularity of social media in Indonesia. And, generally speaking, they want the best of everything.

This is supported by the growing working-age population: Indonesia’s young and expanding population could reach 280 million by 2030.

Unlike many economies, including those in Asia with rapidly ageing populations, there are high expectations that numbers in Indonesia will remain young and growing until 2025, contributing an annual 2.4% economic growth until 2030.

The consumer class is always connected – which might say something about the popularity of social media in Indonesia. And, generally speaking, they want the best of everything.

Business leaders see tremendous potential in Indonesia’s middle class, its rapid growth and undeniable sophistication, as well as the opportunities that exist in serving digitally connected consumers.

Consumers Becoming more Evolved

Consumer spending is expected to rise by 7.7% a year, which presents a trillion-dollar business opportunity by 2030. To take advantage of this, it is critical for businesses to understand the profiles, mind-sets and behaviour of Indonesia’s evolving consumers.

Indonesia is expected to account for nearly 40% of all ASEAN growth in the coming years, underscoring the potential of the nation’s consumer market and youthful population. Indonesia can also benefit from the new ASEAN Economic Community because of the country’s competitiveness in the Asia Pacific manufacturing sector.

Business leaders around the world display enthusiasm and high hopes for the new government, which they believe can take Indonesia’s economy to the next level.

The thrust of social media popularity in Indonesia and the ability of platforms like ours to effect real and lasting change for the better is a clear signal that the digital economy is pivotal to the nation’s future. goldbrown2

This article first appeared on the World Economic Forum blog and was republished with permission.

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Parminder Singh is Managing Director for Southeast Asia, India, Middle East and North Africa, Twitter

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