"One thing I appreciate from our friends in Bali is that the COVID-19 pandemic has, on one hand, weakened tourism, the mainstay of Bali. But, on the other hand, I see that during the pandemic there has been creativity and innovation that indicates they are prepared. There is enthusiasm and high optimism that those who fall can rise again," Thohir said in a statement received here on Monday.
The minister made the statement while meeting with representatives from a number of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups in the three cities of Jembrana, Denpasar, and Benoa.
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In addition, Thohir also went to Primakara Academy for Informatics and Computer Management (STMIK) in Denpasar, which specifically educates start-up business managers who receive support from Bank Mandiri and PT Telkom.
The COVID-19 pandemic must be a momentum for the creative industry to prepare and stay productive, he remarked.
He added that this is intentional so that post-pandemic, when life and the economy run as normal, MSMEs, innovators, entrepreneurs, and start-ups are already one step ahead in developing their business.
Meanwhile, a member of Committee VI of the House of Representatives, Marwan Jafar, asked state-owned enterprises to intensify their help to MSMEs, given they form the core of the people's economy, which has been affected the most by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jafar highlighted that the pandemic has had a tremendous impact on MSMEs, ranging from a decline in profits to the uncertainty of the potential risks they face. Thus, MSME players really need serious attention and assistance from the government in recovery efforts.
According to Jafar, there are three things that are urgently needed by MSME players to make a recovery: ease of licensing, access to capital, and insurance.
It is expected that the government, through the relevant state-owned enterprises, will be able to fulfill these needs, he said.