Minister Deems Palapa Ring a Capital of Fintech Development

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara considered the full operation of Palapa Ring, a basic infrastructure of the fiber optics internet throughout all regencies, as a capital of the digital development in the country, given the penetration of the digital economy has so far centered in Jakarta.

    “The government’s task is to provide infrastructure. By this [Palapa Ring], digital companies can promote their expansion, including financial inclusion,” said Rudiantara, Monday, Oct. 14.

    On Monday, Oct. 14, the government has officially operated the Palapa Ring project following the completion of the project construction in the country’s eastern part. The project worth over Rp7 trillion was built since 2015.

    Rudiantara did not deny that albeit digital economy is considered a business that knows no distance or time, the penetration would not be even without an internet connection. 

    The World Bank data recorded that only 36 percent of around 250 million Indonesians in 2014 have financial access. This showed that financial inclusion produced an adverse impact on the lack of expansion in the financial industry, which could provide useful products such as savings, insurance, and investment.

    Huge promotions offered by the Financial Services Authority (OJK), Ministry of Finance, Bank Indonesia helped by the limited infrastructure to raise the financial inclusion rate to 75 percent in 2019 were not achieved.

    OJK has also surrendered should they could not reach the target. The deputy commissioner Nurhaida said that the rate would amount to 65 percent. However, the country’s development is quite good compared to other countries in the Asia Pacific. “We encourage fintech firms to carry out expansion when the internet infrastructure is good,” Nurhaida said.

    ANDI IBNU