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Indonesia wants Jack Ma as its e-commerce advisor

As a follow-up to its completed e-commerce road map, Indonesia’s e-commerce steering committee of 10 ministers led by Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution is on the hunt for a prominent industry executive advisor.

Fortune earlier this week reported China’s Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, has been identified as a potential advisor to help Indonesia develop its nascent e-commerce industry.

In a video released by the state secretariat, Rudiantara said "The thinking behind this is to make Indonesia's positioning in the international marketplace more prominent."

Market attraction
As the world’s 4th most populous country with an internet savvy, rapidly growing middle class who are increasingly comfortable with shopping on-line, e-commerce potential in Indonesia is huge. To promote growth in the sector, the government has confirmed plans to create an e-commerce growth steering committee consisting of 10 ministers and they hope Ma would assist in leading their efforts.

A vested interest in Indonesia
While an Alibaba spokeswoman declined to provide an answer on whether or not Ma will accept, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility for Ma to say yes.

Alibaba acquired controlling stakes in Southeast Asian ecommerce giant Lazada earlier this year. That coupled with ongoing leadership shuffles and recent Alipay integration experienced at Lazada Indonesia since Alibaba took the reins highlights Alibaba’s clear interest in the Indonesian e-commerce market.

Thanks to its large population and the number of SMEs in the country, Ma sees Indonesia as a big potential in e-commerce and has stated that Alibaba's business model would work perfectly in the Indonesian market.

Given the evident interest in the market, a government advisor position that would allow Ma to potentially directly influence Indonesian e-commerce policy might be hard to dismiss.

Tags: News, Alibaba

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