The Institute for Economic Development and Finance (INDEF) has responded to the government’s moves to form an Accelerated MSME Protection Task Force to protect MSMEs from Project S TikTok. This step is considered free.
This opinion was expressed by INDEF digital economy researcher Nailul Huda. Huda assessed that the current urgency is to complete the revision of the Decree of the Minister of Commerce (Permendag) no. 50 years of 2020, which has not been completed since 2022.
“The existing task forces are also useless. There is no difference, there is no effectiveness of the target group. This is not really what we are looking for, but a revision of the Minister of Commerce Regulation No. 50/2020, where this Minister of Commerce clearly has no regulation regarding social commerce,” he said during the Project S TikTok public comment on the teleconference channel on Monday (July 24, 2023).
Huda questioned the unfinished revision. In his opinion, this means that there was a time when the discussion of the revision stopped. However, according to him, there is currently no other urgent situation that could lead to the termination of discussions on this new rule.
“For example, if someone prevents this, it means that there are interests that have entered the Ministry of Commerce. So, maybe I see that there is a “swap” in the Ministry of Commerce and so on. I don’t know, one thing is clear, that this was a step that was stopped in the Ministry of Commerce, and we are very sorry about this,” he said.
Meanwhile, INDEF researcher Izzuddin Faras assessed that the creation of this task force did not become an urgent task for the Ministry of Communications and Informatics (Kominfo). According to him, Kominfo should focus on the derivative provisions of Law (UU) No. 27 of 2022 on the protection of personal data.
“It is connected with other branches of the digital economy. There is a need to speed up the discussion and approval so that one of them will later affect social commerce, so I don’t think there is a need for a special working group (protecting MSMEs) because there are things that are more urgent,” he said.
In addition, there is no Project S TikTok itself in Indonesia yet. According to Huda, the completion of the revised Permendag 50/2020 is now more necessary. In this case, the ball is in the Department of Commerce.
“This revision of Permendag was not just proposed. In fact, several observers, business representatives have even suggested it since 2021. Especially since the pandemic, the use of social commerce, e-commerce and social media has skyrocketed,” said Faras.
“Especially with the recent issues regarding TikTok, there should be no more questions from the Department of Commerce to revise this Permendag. It is a matter of urgency,” he continued.
As additional information, earlier the Ministry of Communications and Information announced the establishment of a Task Force to Accelerate the Protection of MSMEs. This task force was created to protect micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from foreign social commerce platforms, one of which is Project S Tiktok.
“The formation of this Task Force is a mandate from the President to ensure that MSMEs are protected from threats from social commerce platforms. The S TikTok project, which is a combination of social media and online shopping platforms, may threaten the survival and economic growth of MSMEs in Indonesia,” Minister of Communications and Information Budi Arye said in a statement on Sunday (July 23, 2023).
Project S is a program implemented by a social commerce platform from China through Tiktok Shop to expand its business in different countries, including Indonesia. Under Project S, Tiktok is expected to use data from the top selling products in the country, which will then be made in China.
The task force, formed by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, will involve the relevant ministries and departments in the development of a joint policy. That is why the Ministry of Communications and Informatics will coordinate its actions with the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Cooperation and Small and Medium Business and other institutions.
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