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The 4th ICEF 2021: Towards Smart and Sustainable Cities through Circular Economy

Published on July 30, 2021

Photo Credits: The 4th Indonesia Circular Economy Forum (ICEF) 2021

Pandu Sjahrir, Founding Partner at AC Ventures, gave the opening speech at the 4th Indonesia Circular Economy Forum (ICEF) 2021. The opening session was also attended by Dody Rahadi, Head of Industry Research and Development Agency, Ministry of Industry; H.E Lars Bo Larsen, Ambassador of Denmark to Indonesia; and Arsjad Rasjid, Chairman of KADIN.

The 4th ICEF 2021 is a side event of the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) 2021. This session focused on the theme Towards Smart and Sustainable Cities through Circular Economy: Building Resilience During COVID-19 Recovery.

Here are our key takeaways:

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology in Indonesian society which continues to increase significantly. This behavior change occurs in all institutions in any sector and changes all market behavior.

In the investment sector, many young Indonesians use technology to have easy access to learn about investment, how to be a new investor in the Indonesian Stock Exchange.

Recently, Single Investor Identification (SID) has reached 5.3 million, and millennial retail investors dominate 3/4. The number is predicted to continue growing until the end of the year.

“It’s because of the enthusiasm of investors that even IPO, the first unicorn company Bukalapak had tremendous enthusiasm from retail investors. This will open the path for other extensive technology-led companies to list in the market,” said Pandu.

As a commissioner of the Indonesian Stock Exchange, Pandu sees a growing appetite by millennial investors and global investment trends that support sustainable business implementation.

On the stock exchange itself, the ESG LEADERS index and SRI-KEHATI index will be one of the options for investors to support sustainable investments. 

Starting next year, they mentioned Stock Exchange, were encouraged all issued on the exchange to provide ESG reports. The purpose is for investors to see the social and environmental reports of the listed companies in Indonesia,” explained Pandu.

Next is how the financial technology industry in Asia has rapidly grown in recent years due to the increasing convenience of Indonesian people using gentle transactions and digital lending.

Even though the industry was hit by COVID-19 in Q2 and Q3 last yearPandu has seen growth and improvement started in Q4 2020 previous year. The sector’s recovery has exceeded the highest achievement since even before the pandemic begins.

Financial Technology (FinTech) can help our society to take advantage of the new economic sector.

According to recent data, only three-fourths of Indonesians are either unbanked or do not have proper access to financial services (underbanked). Most occur in the Java region.

“This is undoubtedly a problem that we need to solve with technology, which would reach a wider area. And in the end, it brings tremendous benefit to society. Services such as digital loans, technology that makes it easier for MSMEs to develop businesses, conduct digital buying and selling transactions, record transactions, and much more will bring great benefit to Indonesia,” Pandu added.

He believes this pandemic teaches us about the importance of sustainable business for the environment and to each other as a community. And the use of technology can help us to achieve this in a short period of time.

AC Ventures (ACV) is a top Southeast Asian venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups focused on Indonesia and ASEAN, with over US$500 million in assets under management. The firm's mission is to empower entrepreneurs with more than just capital by combining operational experience, industry knowledge, deep local networks, and resources. ACV's team has invested in over 120 tech companies in the region since 2012. With a team of more than 35 professionals led by Adrian Li, Michael Soerijadji, Helen Wong, and Pandu Sjahrir, it has offices in Jakarta and Singapore.

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