Google chairman and Haute 100 San Francisco member Eric Schmidt recently met with Indonesia’s Vice President Boediono at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. After “encouraging talks”, Google is now planning to expand their operations in Indonesia, including an office there and boosting investments.
Schmidt was visiting Indonesia as the keynote speaker at the 2011 ASEAN Regional Entrepreneur Summit held in Bali, and also took time to separately meet with Indonesian Minister of Communications and Information Tifatul Sembiring and Syarifuddin Hasan, Minister of Cooperation and Small and Medium Business.
In his speech at the summit, Schmidt expressed that – even though Internet penetration in Indonesia is only at 18% – the majority of citizens online are active on social networks and that he believes the country is conducive to online growth.
He stated in the speech, “You already have large Facebook and Twitter communities. You have very high Google use already. There are 50 million small businesses in Indonesia; I had no idea it was that large. Those [small businesses] will be the engine of growth for the future economy.”
Details of the exact plans for expansion are yet undisclosed but it has been said that Google is looking to start expanding by the end of this year and that their investment would be $100 million, at least. The plan is also said to include a Memorandum of Understanding between Google and Indonesia that would emphasize the empowerment of local small businesses, creative content, and computer security.
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