Online marketing key feature to propel SME performance: Ministry

The Industry Ministry has highlighted the importance of online marketing in propelling the sales of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) over the past several years.

“We want to keep encouraging this [online marketing] because if the income goes up, so does productivity and the number of workers,” the ministry’s director general for SMEs, Gati Wibawaningsih, said Tuesday in a statement.

The ministry previously launched the SME e-Smart program, which involves several online marketplaces, to accommodate prospective SME players to market their products in the cyber-world.

(Read also: Indonesia wants to lead the region in e-commerce)

According to the ministry, SMEs have been able to constantly increase the added value of local products in recent years, from Rp 373 trillion (US$27.9 billion) in 2014 to Rp 520 trillion last year.

“To boost the productivity and competitiveness of SMEs, we plan to offer several facilities for them this year, such as product development, machinery and equipment restructuration, and various promotions and exhibitions as well,” Gati went on.

A 2015 Central Statistics Agency (BPS) survey of manufacturing micro and small enterprises shows that credit flowing to small enterprises has been fairly limited. For example, an overwhelming number of small enterprises (81.4 percent) use their own capital for investing. Among those that borrow, only 38 percent have bank loans. Overall, close to 39 percent of micro and small

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