IMG_1692

Rosan Roeslani, Chairman of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) said today the elimination of e-commerce from Indonesia’s negative investment list should to be considered as “a direction for foreigners to invest”.

“I think this is the right time … for Indonesia to aim to become the largest digital nation in Asia,” said Roeslani, during his opening speech at a networking event today hosted by the Malaysian Venture Capital Management Barhad (MAVCAP) and KADIN.

He also took the moment to announce KADIN’s plan to partner with Indonesia Stock Exchange to launch a startup incubator in June, with the goal to prepare Indonesian startups to go public.

The event was supported by Gobi Partners and Convergence Ventures at JW Marriott Hotel in South Jakarta.

Indonesian and Malaysian startups gathered in a pitching session as part of the event, where the e-commerce roadmap took center stage.

Also Read: Revealed! 7 key points of Indonesia’s much-awaited e-commerce roadmap

Minister of Communications and Informatics Rudiantara gave a presentation he claimed he presented to Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai during President Joko Widodo’s recent Silicon Valley visit.

Rudiantara began by comparing how the US and China’s e-commerce scene differs, and presented what Indonesia aims to achieve through the e-commerce roadmap.

He said there will be a friendlier investment environment (through the elimination of e-commerce from investment negative list), conversion of government-subsidised loan to VCs (to be distributed to startups), revision of Financial Service Authority’s policy on VCs, as well as building a Technology Board in the Indonesia Stock Exchange within the next two years.

“What this country needs is not only money but also know-how, which is why we invited incubators to come to Indonesia,” he said.

“We have also talked about how we can get more startups to go through seed stage. One of the possibilities is to encourage big e-commerce players to spin their people off their company … We have not come out with the conclusion yet, but the government is very open for solutions,” he ended.

Also Read: Exclusive: Malaysian IoT startup Pipeline Network raises US$1M led by Helios Ventures

The event ended with a pitching session of several Indonesian, Malaysian and Chinese startups.

From Indonesia, there was Mainspring with their news aggregator app BaBe (who cited expansion plan to Malaysia and Philippines), virtual assistant service YesBoss (who will be launching a new app soon), Female Daily Network, a company hoping to be the TripAdvisor for beauty enthusiasts (who will be launching a salon and spa review and booking platform), and food and beverage platform Qraved (who presented new milestones since its last funding round).

Malaysia was represented by beauty e-commerce platform Hermo (planning to enter Singapore and Indonesia soon), restaurant booking platform Offpeak (who is seeking a new round of funding), and low-cost hotel booking app NIDA Rooms (who announced expansion plans to Southeast Asia and Latin America).

For the Chinese startups, there was presentation from camera app Camera360 (who is looking out for new potential platforms in which to collaborate).