Bali is believed to possess the potential to transform into a technology hub or the Indonesian technology centre, offering a platform for networking, financial resources, and a strong human capital foundation.
Technology hubs are crucial as the mastery of technology and its conversion into innovative products and services are absolutely vital for Indonesia’s competitiveness in the global and regional economies.
“Given Bali’s global reputation as a premier tourist destination, it could attract not just technology investors but also international IT experts, professionals, and entrepreneurs. Additionally, Bali’s central geographical position within Indonesia provides a domestic advantage,” noted Elwin Tobing, President of Inadata Consulting, in a press release on Tuesday, 15th August 2023.
Tobing elaborated that Bali should not solely rely on the tourism sector and must diversify into other leading sectors. The tourism industry is highly susceptible to various economic, political, and global health disruptions.
“For instance, California is renowned for its maritime tourism and is also a technology hub located in Silicon Valley,” Tobing clarified.
He shared this insight during his role as a guest speaker at the “Public and Private Partnership in Advancing Bali’s Development” workshop held in Washington DC, United States from 5-11th August 2023.
Tobing’s assertion found support from Tjok Gde Sukawati, Deputy Chairman of the Bali Regional People’s Representative Assembly. According to Sukawati, the events of 9/11 in 2001 in the US and the Bali bombings in 2002 caused Bali’s economy to stumble, but it managed to recover. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic subsequently led to a stagnant phase for Bali.
“In 2021, our economy contracted by -11 percent. The Bali Regional People’s Representative Assembly is presently identifying primary sectors that can partner with the tourism industry. We are dedicated to promoting the concept of Bali as a technology hub in Indonesia, particularly since we have recently passed a regional regulation outlining Bali’s development for the next century,” he added.
Meanwhile, I Bagus Made Bimantara, Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the US, who received the Bali Regional People’s Representative Assembly delegation, highlighted that Indonesian representatives in the US are actively facilitating connections between Indonesia and IT professionals and entrepreneurs in the US, encompassing both Indonesian and global nationals.
“The US possesses all the resources needed to bolster technology hubs in Indonesia, spanning from experts and finances to experience and networks. The critical factor is meticulous preparation in Indonesia to effectively communicate these initiatives to the appropriate stakeholders,” he commented.
Drawing parallels with several historically impactful laws on the US economy, Tobing cited that the Bali Regional People’s Representative Assembly is drafting legislation to establish a blueprint legal framework for the evolution of Bali into a technology hub in Indonesia.