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Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (UMKM) Special Region of Yogyakarta (DIY) as the support for the DIY economy is the sector most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For this reason, strategic steps are needed in developing potential economic sectors in DIY, one of which is increasing the competitiveness of MSMEs in order to accelerate the regional economy.

The recovery of MSME competitiveness must adopt technology quickly, otherwise MSMEs will die, so they must be encouraged as optimally as possible from upstream to downstream to utilize technology.

In addition, the DIY economy will not be able to grow if it does not have a breakthrough to take advantage of other potentials, so it needs a new source of growth by utilizing the presence of Yogyakarta International Airport (BIY) as a logistics hub. This was conveyed by the Head of the Representative Office of Bank Indonesia (BI) DIY Hilman Tisnawan in the BI, ISEI DIY and KR Discussion Forums guided by Deputy Editor-in-Chief of SKH Kedaulatan Rakyat Ronny Sugiantoro at the BI Heritage Building, Friday (10/9/2021).

"The Covid-19 pandemic has caused the economy to experience a recession and slowly rebound in 2021, but the recovery is estimated to be uneven and has the potential to form a K-Shaped. Adaptation to digitalization is one of the keys to encouraging DIY SMEs to advance to class. The trend of online sales continues to increase, thus opening up opportunities for DIY SMEs to expand market reach. However, if you fail to compete, you will risk experiencing a surge in imports from other regions and countries," said Hilman.

Hilman stated that the DIY and Indonesia's economies have an increasing trend, often with the improvement of the global economy. DIY exports are in a good growth trend, but still not optimal. DIY's leading export products are in the form of Textiles and Textile Products (TPT) as well as Furniture and Wood where the majority 67 percent of DIY's export products are sent to America and Europe.

BIY can be one of the main gateways for Java exports because logistics in Java are very dependent on Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in the west, so it needs equal distribution in the central and eastern parts of Java.

“The majority of DIY export products use sea cargo, so if you want to optimize air cargo at YIA, you need to expand your reach. BIY's logistics will not be optimal if it relies solely on products from DIY, so it needs to be expanded to Central Java (Central Java) and East Java, which are industrial bases. The development of industrial estates in Central Java has the potential to add potential export products that can be withdrawn to BIY," he explained.

Deputy General Chairperson (Waketum) of the DIY Kadin for Organization and Membership Robby Kusumaharta said that DIY MSME exports were almost divided into three, namely Asia plus Arab, Europe plus Africa and USA plus Canada. There are at least 20 DIY export destinations such as China, the United States (US), Japan, India, Jeddah, Hong Kong, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and others.

“MSMEs for export need to be assisted from downstream to upstream from legality/licensing, supply assessment, product development, packaging, product certification or labeling, branding or promotion, transactions, shipping to buyer relations. The problem is that export shipments are still limited by conventional means, even though alternative solutions are needed in transportation or travel documentation, such as cargo consolidation or mixed transportation," said this Manufacturing Exporter from DIY.

The Secretary of ISEI Yogyakarta Branch as well as the Committee for Organization and Membership of the DIY Kadin Y Sri Susilo supports the optimization of BIY as a gateway for exporting DIY and Central Java (Central) South MSME products to the international market. Furthermore, the development of the Aerocity and Aerotropolis areas in the BIY area must provide economic benefits for local residents and local investors or economic actors, both DIY and Central Java.

The participation of local investors in the economic development of the BIY Zone, including the existence of an airport toll road, must have the support of the Regional Government/Regency Government and other stakeholders.

"The old idea of ​​the Governor of DIY regarding Yogyakarta Incorporated needs to be raised and become relevant again to be realized. Many investors will invest and we from ISEI are ready to join with economic actors and the government to contribute ideas if Yogyakarta Incorporated is realized,” added the UAJY FBE Lecturer.

Deputy Dean for Research, Community Service, Cooperation and Alumni FEB UGM Amirullah Setya Hardi highlighted two things, firstly MSME performance and secondly MSMEs must think about global marketing. SMEs that are only good at cages are not enough, but must continue to be encouraged to contribute more to the economy in DIY.

"We from academia are ready to support and assist the development of MSMEs in DIY. Including the problems that hinder MSMEs related to shipping and logistics by optimizing BIY as an export and import port. We will help fix everything so that BIY can become the main export gateway,” said the Deputy Chairperson of the Yogyakarta Branch of ISEI.

The Head of Small and Medium Enterprises of the DIY Cooperatives and SMEs Office, Tatik Ratnawati, admitted that there were still many micro-scale SMEs in DIY, on the other hand, MSMEs that had been exported were minimal, including licensing, marketing and so on. This condition is a 'PR' as well as a challenge for MSMEs so that MSMEs are not only promoted but also digitally literate.

"We, through various program activities, continue to strive for DIY MSMEs to advance to become exporters, including the SiBakul Jogja program, facilitating free shipping to overseas shipping, discounting prices, facilitating offline and online marketing, providing raw materials and so on. We provide guidance and ask and encourage DIY SMEs to continue to innovate and be creative during the pandemic," he concluded.