Jakarta (VNA) – The number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) using online platforms for their business in Indonesia has risen to around 10.2 million as the COVID-19 pandemic speeds up digitalisation, a minister has said.

During a recent virtual discussion, Indonesian Cooperative and SMEs Minister Teten Masduki said the share of SMEs using online platforms rose to 16 percent from 13 percent as recorded early this year, adding that this is quite a big improvement.

SMEs that successfully adapt to the new consumer patterns and create product innovation are expected to get out of this crisis. With such an increase, the Indonesian government has met its target of having 10 million small businesses utilising online platforms this year.

The country’s small businesses, which account for more than 60 percent of gross domestic product and employ a majority of the labour force, have been hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, as the economy enters into recession following economic contractions recorded in the second and third quarter.

At the same time, the rise in online commerce among small businesses has taken place as many consumers avoid visiting bricks-and-mortar stores and move to online shopping platforms to comply with the social-distancing orders during the pandemic.

The volume of transactions on e-commerce rose by around 39 percent to 383 million in the first and second quarters, according to Indonesian Creative Economy and Tourism Minister Wishnutama, quoting data from Bank Indonesia./.