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Foreign IT Firms to Speed Up e-Commerce

US computer company Sun Microsystems Inc has formed a strategic alliance with local information technology company PT Metrodata Electronics.

The two companies agreed to set up joint venture company owned 51% by PT e-Metrodata.com, a subsidiary of Metrodata Electronics, and 49% by Sun Microsystems.

Early investment for the venture company is around US$5 million. The venture company is expected to start operation by early next year to provide services especially for Internet business.

The potential market for Sun products in Indonesia is mainly for application business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce.

Metrodata has implemented B2B e-commerce to sell its computer and peripheral products such as Compaq, IBM, Gateway, Acer and Epson.

Speed of Development

Steps also have been taken by IBM and Microsoft to speed up the development e-commerce in the country. PT IBM Indonesia recently has made co-operation with JAFCO Investment Ltd to launch the e-incubator program. The co-operation with JAFCO and IBM is one of key solution component end-to-end to speed up e-business in Indonesia, said president-director of IBM Indonesia, Betty Alisjahbana.

IBM will provide its expertise and the technology while JAFCO would like providing the funding. The incubator program has also been introduced in other ASEAN countries like Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines and it has had a positive response from the consumers, said executive vice president of JAFCO, Bradley Chew.

Meanwhile PT Microsoft Indonesia has made a strategic alliance with local security company PT Makindo to develop e-commerce, especially mobile commerce (m-commerce) for stock trading. The co-operation will initially focus on the development of e-commerce applications for financing and stock exchange business, said Gunawan Yusuf, president-director of Makindo.

Internet Boom

President-director of Microsoft Indonesia, Richard Kartawijaya, said his company would support the co-operation by providing technology and wireless software to help develop m-commerce.

Around 1.5 million Indonesian people are now using the Internet with more and more companies entering e-commerce to strengthen business. Manufacturing and the retail industry are among the first businesses that have developed e-commerce in the country followed by the banking industry.

According to International Data Corp, the IT sales in the country in 1999 reached around US$638 million and will reach around US$1.5 billion by 2003.

by Alfia Rahmaniar, Jakarta

(December 2000 Issue, Nikkei Electronics Asia)

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