On 2nd March this year, Indonesia registered the first infected patient, quite late compared to its neighbors. The pandemic appeared slowly, despite high mobility and a vast population. Today, however, Indonesia has the highest number of infections in the region. Confirmed cases increase by a thousand a day. When are these numbers ever going to peak?
While other countries experience a decrease, our numbers are multiplying. What to make out of this?
It is not just because the virus spreads faster. There are also more tests conducted. Still, these tests are running at a bare minimum. The whole country only manages to conduct 2.5 tests on a thousand citizens every week, and Jakarta takes the lion share with 40%.
Meanwhile, opening the economy has been making headlines. Retail has started. Motorcycles are lining the streets again. Street vendors are out selling pempek snacks and iced sugar cane. Of course, this happens with new health protocols and preventive strategies.
Adapting to the new situation also means adapting to changed consumer behavior. That pempek street vendor selling delicious fishcakes is now receiving orders online, while the iced sugar cane vendor… well, also sells his sweets online! A good reason for CIPS to speed up finishing a policy paper on food safety in e-commerce. Wait for the launch in July/August!
E-commerce is indeed the star of the moment. Among all else that is going digital, small businesses are eager to do so. If it all went according to government plans, those that use online marketplaces will expand from now 8 million to 10 million by the end of 2020.
To help boost this effort, CIPS advocates for a regulatory environment that fertilizes the ground for businesses to flourish. On 21-24 July, we will arrange our first virtual conference on a public private dialogue concerning the digital economy! We are lining up interesting speakers and will send updates as we are getting prepared.
Finally, generous donations allow us to recruit 6 young Indonesian talents to our successful Emerging Policy Leaders Program. Applications are pouring in and will meet a thorough assessment of skills and attitudes. Once selected, the trainees will learn how to support our policy analysis and I am sure they will soon make a good name for themselves. Thank you so much to those who’ve extended their support!
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Don't forget to check out and download our policy papers here. Through these papers, we present evidence-based arguments to recommend policy changes that focus on building prosperity and better livelihoods for low-income Indonesians.
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