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Indonesia must improve tech industry capabilities, says Jokowi – Tech – The Jakarta Post

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utgoing President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said he can understand why United States tech giant Apple has not built production facilities in the country.

He said on Tuesday that Indonesia was home to only two of the 320 suppliers that Apple worked with worldwide, far fewer than the Philippines with 17, Malaysia with 19, Thailand with 24 and Vietnam with 72.  

“[Indonesia] must increase local tech industry capabilities, and [the country] must not only be a market,” he said in comments at the inauguration of the Indonesia Digital Test House in Depok, West Java. He added that it was a big task for the next government to accomplish.

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Jakarta and met with Jokowi at the Presidential Palace on April 16. During the visit, Jokowi asked the US company to build a manufacturing facility in Indonesia. Cook said after the meeting that it was “something that we will look at”.

Jokowi noted that smartphones and other electronic devices used by Indonesians were still largely imported.

“The trade deficit in this sector is US$2.1 billion, or more than Rp 30 trillion,” he said. He added that the digital test applications for electronic devices were mostly done for imported items, mostly from China.

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Indonesia accounts for 45 percent of the Southeast Asian market for Apple products.

During the Jakarta visit, the company revealed that it would expand the Apple Developer Academy in the country with a total investment of Rp 1.6 trillion.

Jokowi will end his 10-year tenure as president in October, after which Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, who won this year’s presidential election, will take office and install a new executive administration.

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