Fri, 12 May 2000

50 local firms offer e-solutions at show

JAKARTA (JP): Some 50 local companies operating in the Internet-related business sector are currently flaunting their newest products and services at an event dubbed the country's first Internet business exhibition, the e-Business Show 2000.

Most of the companies are new and just beginning their track records in the Internet business, such as news portal, search engine portal, e-commerce service provider and Internet solution providers Jatis and ATMCOM.

The others are long established information technology-related companies such as computer manufacturers Compaq, Zyrex, Wearnes and Mitac, as well as Internet service provider (ISP) Uninet.

A representative of the event organizer, Rina Radinal, said the large number of participating companies and the fact that most of them were start-ups was proof of the ongoing strong interest on the Internet sector.

She said more companies were setting up new businesses based on the Internet or at least had started to utilize Internet applications to improve their own business operations.

The event, which is being held at the Jakarta Convention Center until Sunday, is aimed at allowing new Internet companies to demonstrate and share their experience and knowledge with many other companies that are also interested in the Internet, she said.

"Most of the visitors are from companies that are interested in knowing how to set up an Internet business. The event provides an opportunity for them, through discussions and workshops, to acquire information and knowledge directly from companies which have already started doing e-business," she said.

More Internet start-up companies have recently been set up in Indonesia in response to optimistic predictions about the potential growth of the Internet market here.

At least four new Internet start-ups, ranging from content providers to e-commerce service providers, have been established every month this year.

The continued entrance of new Internet start-ups into the market is expected to make competition in the country's Internet business tighter, said the chief executive officer of news portal Astaga!Com, Jonathan Morris.

"The Internet business, especially online shopping services, will be a very bullish business within the next three years," he said in a statement, projecting the number of local Internet users to grow by 400 percent this year.

The Association of Indonesian Internet Service Providers has estimated that the size of Internet market here will reach two million people by the end of the year.

Indonesia, with its huge population, is certainly a potential market for Internet business, said the executive director of the four-month-old search engine portal, Leon Tan.

"Indonesia is one of the largest potential markets for Internet business in the region. Although it may not be as developed as Singapore or Malaysia, which have established infrastructures, Indonesia is surely a greater market, and it is growing pretty fast," he said.

Meanwhile, over 50 telecommunications-based companies are exhibiting their latest products and services at Telematika 2000, a telecommunications, media and information technology exhibition being held next door to the e-Business Show.

The exhibition, which will also run until Sunday, is being attended by major local and overseas telecoms companies, such as state companies PT Telkom and PT Indosat, European-based satellite manufacturer Arianespace and mobile telecoms company Nokia. (cst)