The Road to Trade Winds ASEAN: Indonesia

March 6, 2023

Eric Hsu is Counselor for Commercial Affairs at U.S. Embassy Jakarta.

This is the sixth and final piece in a blog series about different markets that will be featured during Trade Winds 2023. This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Looking to grow your business internationally? Indonesia is where you need to set your sights.

As the world’s fourth most populous country with attractive economic fundamentals and strong democratic values, Indonesia has promising market potential for U.S. companies. Total bilateral trade between our countries has also been steadily increasing in recent years, reaching over $44 billion last year. At the same time, Indonesia is a market that requires both time and investment to develop an understanding of policies and regulations and the landscape of local industry, as well as to build relationships with the public and private sectors.

Strong economic growth has facilitated a growing middle class in Indonesia with increasing disposable income. As such, Indonesian households are actively seeking and consuming U.S. products and services. Businesses active in the mining, information and communications technology (ICT), and health care sectors are among the best positioned to benefit from an accelerated expansion in economic activities.

An illustration featuring the ITA logo and the skyline of Jakarta, Indonesia, with two lines of text that read: Road to Trade Winds ASEAN; Indonesia

In the mining sector, Indonesia possesses over one-fifth of the world’s nickel reserves and is the world’s third largest source of cobalt. Both of these are key inputs for clean tech, like electric vehicles, and battery technology. To capitalize on these natural resources, the Indonesian government is pursuing policies to strengthen downstream processes that strengthen domestic production capacity.

The ICT sector is another key commercial opportunity. Digital platforms, including smart phone applications, have become so popular that are now a must-have for daily life in Indonesia, counting active users in the hundreds of millions. To support these digital technologies, Indonesia is modernizing its telecommunications infrastructure to 5G. U.S. companies will find substantial opportunities with related telecommunications equipment and technology that can help further accelerate Indonesia’s digital transformation.

Finally, the Indonesian government has made tremendous strides in expanding access to quality health care. American medical devices, diagnostic equipment, and medicines are helping healthcare providers deliver the best care possible with cutting edge technologies and approaches. That said, companies in this sector must be willing to navigate nuanced procurement, local production and tax requirements in order to succeed.

As a way to provide export opportunities for U.S. companies in this region, the International Trade Administration (ITA) looks forward to hosting a Trade Winds mission stop in Indonesia on March 16 as part of the Trade Winds Trade Mission and Business Forum. Although registration is at capacity, participating companies will have the opportunity to meet with commercial diplomats and country experts to learn more about opportunities in Indonesia during the Business Forum in Bangkok, which will take place from March 13-15, 2023. For more information, visit the Trade Winds ASEAN website.

Over the coming year, the U.S. Embassy Jakarta will create programs focused on expanding access to market opportunities, including the digital economy, energy and health care spaces among other sectors. If your company would like to learn more, please contact us at office.jakarta@trade.gov.

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