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Exporting to Indonesia

Actual population* Population world ranking
253,609,643 5
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$1,285,000,000,000 16
Actual GDP(per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$5,200 158

*See the end of this blog for definitions

Indonesia is an archipelago consisting of thousands of islands and hundreds of different ethnic groups. Indonesia has heavily populated regions which are contrasted with large areas of wilderness.

Persistence and due diligence are needed when doing business in this country. While there are numerous trade opportunities available, there are also challenges to be aware of. Market research is essential for a company to be successful. It can take considerable time to develop business relationships which are crucial to establish. Learn which market is suitable for a product. Local agents or distributors are recommended. However, it is important to choose one carefully as a good partnership is vital. For assistance with market entry strategies, resources such as the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment are available.

Know acceptable business customs and meeting protocol, such as how to present business cards properly, not offering anything with the left hand, and other gestures which might be considered offensive. There are a number of resources available to assist, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Knowledge of regulations and accurate documentation is critical. Within Indonesia, the BKPM (Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board) has a specific procedure for investors to follow. There is also the BSN (National Standardization Agency of Indonesia) which is responsible for the standardization within the country.

Indonesia is located in Southeast Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Bahasa Indonesia is the official language for Indonesia. There are also a number of dialects. English is spoken and understood by many business people, but interpretation may still be needed.

In Indonesia, the voltage used is 220V with 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the Continental European plug.

For more information on exporting to Asia, please see our Exporting to Asia white paper.



Country comparison—Population: Population compares estimates from the US Bureau of Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics, registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past and on assumptions about future trends. (July 2014 est.)

Country comparison—GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): GDP (purchasing power parity [PPP]) compares the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A nation’s GDP at PPP exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States. (2013 est.)

Country comparison—GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP) compares GDP on a purchasing parity basis divided by population as of 1 July for the same year. (2013 est.)