"So it will all be included in one policy package for e-commerce."
Digital e-commerce
Arief Kamaludin | KATADATA

The Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs and industry players are discussing the e-commerce roadmap. Information gathered by Katadata revealed that this roadmap has been proposed to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) for inclusion in the 13th economic policy package.

The roadmap will include at least seven items aimed at facilitating e-commerce businesses, including logistics, funding, consumer protection, and taxes. Other items would include infrastructure communication, cyber security and the development of human resources.

Deputy Chair for Public Policy at the Indonesian E-Commerce Association (iDea) Budi Gandasoebrata said this road map had been proposed for inclusion in the 13th economic policy package because it involves a number of ministries and agencies. For example, the payment system will be regulated by Bank Indonesia. (Read: Widodo: Look Out Mall Owners, E-Commerce is Coming!).

Meanwhile, the infrastructure would be under the control of the Ministry of Communications and Information while the Ministry of Trade would regulate sales. “So it will all be included in one policy package for e-commerce,” said Budi in Jakarta on Wednesday (25/5).

He added that the proposal to include the e-commerce roadmap in the economic policy package was actually initiated by the government. The government and e-commerce players entered into talks on this last year. (Read: Lippo Launches US$500 Million e-Commerce Business).

Separately, Deputy for Commerce and Industry Coordination Eddy Putra Irawady and Secretary Lukita Dinarsyah Tuwo, both from the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, did not deny that a proposal for an e-commerce roadmap had been submitted to Jokowi.

The president will now consider whether to include this latest economic policy package. “We proposed that this is included in the (13th policy) package,” said Lukita in his office on Wednesday night (25/5).

“As far as I’m aware, it will be proposed for inclusion in the next economic policy package,” Eddy told Katadata.

Lukita said all input from government institutions had been accommodated in this e-commerce roadmap. However, the roadmap can only be approved after a closed meeting of all related ministries and agencies. “All input was accommodated in the matrix we developed,” said Lukita.

On a separate occasion, when asked for confirmation, Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Darmin just smiled and said that the e-commerce roadmap might not be included in the 13th economic policy package. “Priority might be given to other sectors,” said Darmin. (Read: Trade Minister: e-Commerce Rules to Protect SMEs).

The e-commerce sector first grabbed the attention of the government last year. For example, during President Jokowi's visit to the United States at the end of October 2015, he met with five major venture capital firms that were prepared to invest in some of Indonesia's information technology companies. These investors include Sir Michael Moritz’s Sequoia Capital and ‘Queen of The Net’ Mary Meeker. Sequoia is known to have many investment portfolios, such as Apple, Google, YouTube, and WhatsApp.

To encourage the growth of e-trade in Indonesia, the government has opened its doors wide to foreign investors who want to invest in large-scale e-commerce businesses by revising the nation's negative investment list (DNI). Previously, this sector was completely off limits for foreign investors.