President Joko Widodo has increasingly highlighted the digital economy and technology as central to Indonesia’s future. During one of the presidential election debates, he quipped “In the future, strong countries won’t control weak countries. Fast countries will control slow countries.”


In line with this focus, digital start-ups such as ride-hailing company Go-Jek and e-commerce company Bukalapak have become some of Indonesia’s best known companies. At the same time, there are concerns about disruptive and divisive effects as the digital sphere becomes more pervasive. How will Indonesia change as the digital economy expands? And what role will government and the private sector play in this transformation?


In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues with Putri Alam, head of Government Relations and Public Policy at Google Indonesia. She spoke at the Indonesia Development Forum in July 2019 on the digital economy and the changing nature of work.


Today’s episode is the third in the “Policy in Focus” series of Talking Indonesia episodes, supported by the Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI), a partnership between the Australian and Indonesian governments that aims to improve the use of evidence in development policymaking. This series will appear periodically in alternate weeks to the regular Talking Indonesia episodes. The views expressed in this podcast episode do not represent the views of the Australian or Indonesian governments. 


The Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the Singapore Management University and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight.  Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Photo by Aprillio Akbar for Antara.


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