E-commerce Shopee has partnered with 20,000 small and medium-sized merchants to export locally produced goods to neighboring Malaysia and Singapore, the company announced on Wednesday.
Shopee Indonesia public policy and government relations head Radityo Triatmojo said the platform promoted Indonesian products to Asian markets during the 2020 ASEAN Online Sales Day on Aug. 8.
“Our export efforts are part of Shopee’s Kreasi Nusantara program, which aims to market and export the products of Indonesian small and medium enterprises [SME] to Asian markets,” he said during an online press briefing.
Earlier this year, the company announced it planned to expand its business by exporting 1 million locally made products to the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam by year-end.
The plan came after Shopee reported having exported more than 5,000 Indonesian products to Malaysia and Singapore last year.
“However, since the Philippines recently entered an economic recession, we need to put the expansion plan on hold,” Radityo said.
The Philippines saw its first recession in 29 years as the economy contracted 16.5 percent annually in the second quarter.
A recession is characterized by an annual contraction in two consecutive quarters.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a wave of economic contractions and recessions in various countries as the outbreak paralyzes business activities and disrupts supply chains.
Indonesia also saw 5.32 percent economic contraction in the second quarter, as household consumption and investment crunched.
Among the most hardest-hit businesses during the pandemic are SMEs, which account for more than half of the economy, as they lose demand and access to financing.
Shopee has launched online training programs to help SMEs go online through its platform, training more than 40,000 merchants nationwide so far, including those in remote areas.
“Going online is not enough, SME owners need to be trained in using online platforms and they need to make sure that their products meet e-commerce standards,” Cooperatives and SME Ministry production and marketing undersecretary Victoria Simanungkalit said during the 2020 ASEAN Online Sales Day.
"This is where training is needed.”(eyc)