Minister Sri Mulyani, Governor Perry Warjiyo, Commissioner Widyasari, Mastercard Asia Pacific Executive Vice President Rama Sridhar, Visa Asia Pacific Vice President Patisan Low, Tessa Wijaya from Xendit, distinguished presenters and guests, thank you very much for attending our special forum on Women in Fintech: Empowering the Next Generation.
The U.S. Embassy is honored to host this event to reinforce our efforts in support of Indonesia’s digital transformation. Indonesia has the largest and fastest growing digital economy in Southeast Asia, which reflects not only Indonesia’s vast potential but also the government and the private sector’s strong commitment to advancing that potential.
When it comes to technology, Indonesia and the United States share a similar entrepreneurial spirit that drives innovation. We also share a commitment to ensuring that everyone gets an equal share of the benefits and opportunities, as our countries continue to make strides in the digital economy.
I believe strongly that women’s economic empowerment will be critically important to the success of the digital economy. In fact, for our Embassy, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment is a top priority. President Biden’s National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality is a recent example of the whole U.S. government’s deep commitment to equality and women’s economic empowerment at the highest levels.
Having had the privilege of working for and getting to know many amazing women throughout my career, including Secretaries of State Albright, Rice, and Clinton, and of course Minister Mulyani and other women leaders here in Indonesia, I know very well that women’s empowerment is not only the right thing to do but necessary and smart thing to do improve our societies and lives.
I am proud that our Embassy has several programs that support women and are guided by the values of gender equality. For example, USAID’s partnership with the Indonesian Employers’ Association and the Ministry of Manpower, fosters gender equality by helping companies introduce equality and inclusivity in the workplace. As a result, more than 1,200 companies under this association now have the tools necessary to integrate equality and inclusivity in their policies. USAID has also worked with more than 1,000 women who have started their own businesses and another 3,000 women who have reported increased business earnings after working with USAID.
I know we can do more and we are committed to redoubling our efforts. We look forward to productive discussions today on how we can partner together more effectively to advance our shared objective. I also hope the forum will spark valuable connections and friendships that will continue well beyond today. Thank you for participating. Lastly, I want to thank my Embassy colleagues who worked very hard to organize this forum. Thank you, team.