Caixin
Oct 13, 2018 04:39 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Alibaba To Help Train Next Generation of Indonesian Tech Leaders

(Nusa Dua, Indonesia) — Indonesia has reached an agreement with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in which the Chinese tech giant will help train the country’s management-level tech talent, Indonesia’s communications minister told Caixin on Saturday.

Alibaba will help train Indonesian companies’ chief technology officers in its headquarters in Hangzhou, said Rudiantara, the minister of communication and information technology.

Rudiantara had spoken to Alibaba co-founder and Chairman Jack Ma earlier that afternoon. Both were attending the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Bali, Indonesia.

The Indonesian government is also working with Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. on a training program for 20,000 technical staff, said Rudiantara, who uses only one name. Indonesia is aiming for its digital economy to be worth $130 billion by the end of 2020 — 12% of total gross domestic product — but finding and training talent is a key constraint for growth, he said.

The current global hubs of tech talent are the “three B’s” — the Bay Area in California; Beijing; and Bengaluru, previously known as Bangalore, in southern India, Rudiantara said. But the minister’s focus seems to be firmly on the rest of Asia. This year, he decided that his ministry would no longer sponsor graduate students’ studies in U.S., European and Australian universities, as it had before. Instead, it will offer scholarships only for those students going to Beijing and Bengaluru.

“People said I’m crazy, but I’m thinking five years down the road,” he said.

Contact reporter Ke Baili (bailike@caixin.com)

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