ecg20JAKARTA/BEIJING - Indonesia has asked the chairman of China`s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Jack Ma, to act as adviser in the development of the Southeast Asian country`s nascent e-commerce industry, according to a video released by the government.
Indonesia has the world`s fourth-largest population, boasting a young, internet-savvy demographic, and a thriving e-commerce market that is increasingly attracting global investors.
Earlier this year, Alibaba bought a controlling stake in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada Group for around $1 billion, while a group of investors led by private equity firms KKR & Co LP and Warburg Pincus LLC poured more than $550 million into Indonesian ride-hailing start-up Go-Jek.
To promote growth in the e-commerce industry, the government is setting up a "steering committee" consisting of 10 ministers for which it has asked Alibaba`s Ma to be an adviser, Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara said.
"The thinking behind this is to make Indonesia`s positioning in the international marketplace more prominent," Rudiantara said in a video released by the state secretariat. The minister, like many Indonesians, only uses one name.
Rudiantara is part of President Joko Widodo`s delegation attending the G20 summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.
An Alibaba spokeswoman confirmed that Ma was asked to be adviser to Indonesia`s e-commerce steering committee, but declined to say whether he had accepted the offer.