Guidelines for export to Indonesia: Jakarta or other cities?

What do we know about Indonesian consumers?

With a population of 254 million, Indonesia holds a diverse base of individuals of varying cultures. These include the Javanese, Sudanese, Malay, Batak, Madurese, Betawi, Minangkabau, Buginese and many more.

Household incomes in Indonesia can be grasped by understanding that the bottom earning 10% of the population shares only 3.4% of the national income. The highest earning 10% earn 28.2% of it. Indonesia’s Gini Index last recorded in 2009 stood at 36.8 with ‘0’ representing perfect quality and ‘100’ representing complete inequality. Most income and spending power is concentrated in Jakarta.

Indonesians enjoy a higher spending power compared to their counterparts in several other Asian countries. The nation has a long history of foreign investments and international trade. It welcomes genuine investors and supports their business interests.

With a growth rate comparable to that of the BRICS nations, Indonesian trade offers several diverse business opportunities.

What do people import to Indonesia?

Indonesia’s imports rated at $168 billion in 2014. The country’s top imports include:

  1.  Machinery and equipment
  2.  Electronics
  3.  Chemicals
  4.  Fuels
  5.  Foodstuffs

Who are Indonesia’s favourite import partners? (Percentage of total imports in 2014) 

  • China (17.2%)
  • Singapore (14.1%)
  • Japan (9.6%)
  • South Korea (6.7%)
  • Malaysia (6.1%)
  • Thailand (5.5%)
  • US (4.6 %)

What are the major shipping ports of Indonesia?

With approximately 54,000 km of coastline owing to its geographical structure, Indonesia has several ports. Some of the main container terminals in Indonesia are listed below:

  • Sungai Pakning, Bengkalis, Riau
  • Port of Tanjung Uban, west coast of Pulau Bintan
  • Port of Padang, (Teluk Bajur), Sumatra
  • Port Tegal, Java
  • Port Tuban, Java

Which are Indonesia’s top cargo airports?

  • Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Jakarta
  • Juanda International Airport, Sedati, Sidoarjo
  • Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali

What are the customs and tariffs regulations in Indonesia?

Duties in Indonesia vary between nil to a general maximum of 40%, though they can go up to 90%, like in the case of alcoholic drinks. The average duty across import categories, excluding agriculture, is about 10%.There is an additional value added Tax (VAT) of 10% on all imports.

There is a well documented classification and codification of different classes of goods and services imported and duties can be known in advance from this documentation.

What is the distribution structure in Indonesia?

Indonesia has approximately 340,000 km of roads with 95 % of the national road network being paved. There are 10,000 km of navigable waterways, about 300 public ports of which 43 are service international liners, making maritime transport a prime means of conveying people and goods. In short, import and export in Indonesia is supported by good infrastructure.

Shopping centres and convenience stores are gaining popularity. Franchisees are soon replacing mom and pop style stores.

Hence, Indonesia is a fast expanding market place, open to trade and joint venture. A thorough knowhow of the local consumer needs, your product value and techniques to reach target audiences, are the means to a successful trade relationship with Indonesia.

This entry in Asia was updated on 20 May 2021 by specialist.