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Electronic Commerce and New Ways of Working in Indonesia


Jack M. Nilles

 JALA International, Inc.

Los Angeles and Bonn, November 1999



Gesellschaft für Kommunikations- und Technologieforschung mbH, Oxfordstr. 2, D-53111 Bonn

Tel.: (+49 02 2) 9 85 30-0, Fax: (+49 02 28) 9 85 30-12, Email: info@empirica.com, http://www.empirica.com, http://www.ecatt.com, Contact: Werner B. Korte

7 Indonesia

7.1 The economy

Indonesia is the world's fifth largest country, with a population of almost 204 million at the end of 1998. Like India, about 53% of Indonesia's workforce are in farming and other extractive industries. Only a small fraction of Indonesians are currently information workers, as shown in Figure 21, but both the information and other service sectors of the economy are growing. The figure does not fully reflect the past two years of economic turbulence in Indonesia, nor the potential changes in the economy that may result from its recovery and its turn toward more democratic government; these factors have yet to show up in available demographic and economic data.

Figure 21: Estimated composition of the Indonesian workforce

Unlike some other developing countries, Indonesia's telecommunications industry is still government controlled. PT Telkom, the government-controlled monopoly, will keep its monopoly status until 2006. It will also retain exclusive rights to provide domestic calls until 2011. This should insure a relatively leisurely pace of expansion of Indonesia's telecommunications infrastructure at about 10% until competition is introduced.

Indonesia, although more than double India's per capita GNP at about 12.5% of the US value, still has a major uphill fight to have a high tech infrastructure available for the average citizen. Even though Indonesia has two communication satellites to cover its more than 13,000 islands, most of their use has been for military purposes. Therefore, most of e-world developments in Indonesia will accrue to the benefit of the wealthier fraction of the populace. This is reflected in the Internet access data and estimates shown in Figure 22. Since late 1997 there have been 23 ISPs in Indonesia, none of which has a large customer base.

Figure 22: Estimated Internet users in Indonesia

7.2 E-commerce

There is very little evidence of e-commerce in Indonesia and it is not expected to develop in any substantial way until after the breakup of PT Telkom or the introduction of competition in the country. What e-commerce occurs is largely through sites in Singapore. Because of the dearth of data and the current uncertainties in Indonesia's government, our forecast in this area should be considered tentative. Figure 23 shows the results of the forecasting model.

Figure 23: Estimated e-commerce in Indonesia

7.3 New Ways to Work

Slightly more effort has been made to develop telework in Indonesia, including government plans for a pilot project involving government employees in Jakarta. There is also a certain amount of Internet-mediated telework on an international scale, but not of the magnitude seen

in India. The current estimate of Indonesian telework levels is shown in Figure 24.

Figure 24: Estimated growth of telework in Indonesia.

Also like India, there is a wide gap between the nominal potential for telework and the more likely actuals when corrections are made for Indonesia's economic troubles. As traffic congestion continues to worsen, the number of urban information workers increases, and the telecommunications infrastructure improves in cities such as Jakarta and Jogjakarta, the actual values may more closely approach the nominal potential curve. However, we know of no household or business survey data covering teleworkers in Indonesia.