Exporting guide to Indonesia

Overview

Indonesia is a group of islands located near Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Australia. The country has a population of over 270 million, making it a large potential consumer base.

Trade statistics

£1.4 billion total UK exports to Indonesia for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

54th largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

0.2% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

Large Facebook and Twitter markets

Indonesia has over 100 million internet users. It is the world’s third-largest Facebook market and fifth-largest Twitter market. Demand from the new middle class is increasing for modern retail and consumer goods, healthcare, education and professional qualifications, information and communications technology (ICT), transport, construction, and manufacturing.

Emerging middle class

Indonesia’s economic growth is driven by an emerging middle class. International surveys show that Indonesians are trusting consumers, highly receptive to advertising and keen to try new things. Indonesian consumers are:

  • young
  • IT savvy
  • interested in new international brands

Top five UK goods exported to Indonesia, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

Goods Value (£million)
Metal ores & scrap 84.0
Pulp & waste paper 77.2
Cars 64.7
Medicinal & pharmaceutical products 59.7
General industrial machinery (intermediate) 41.4

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: July 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Indonesia.

Top five UK services exported to Indonesia, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

Service Value (£million)
Other Business Services 167.0
Transportation 127.0
Travel 97.0
Insurance and Pension 83.0
Financial 52.0

Source: ONS UK trade in services: service type by partner country, non-seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Indonesia.

Indonesia: at a glance

Economic growth

3.7%

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is 7.4% (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

GDP per capita

$4,357

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is $47,203 (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

Currency

Rupiah (also known as IDR)

Business language

Bahasa Indonesian

You’re likely to need a translator

Time zone

GMT +7/8/9

Jakarta is GMT +7

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Opportunities for exporters

UK companies are already flourishing in Indonesia, some with a presence that stretches back over 100 years. Major UK companies operating in Indonesia include BP, Unilever, Shell, Standard Chartered Bank, Prudential, Rolls Royce and GlaxoSmithKline (Indonesia Matters, 2020).

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Indonesia

Preparing to export

VAT

Based on Law Number 8 of 1983 as most recently amended by Law Number 42 of 2009, an Entrepreneur that delivers taxable goods and/or services exceeding a certain amount in one fiscal year is required to register as a VAT-able Entrepreneur. Currently the threshold is Rp 4.8 billion per annum (Deloitte, 2019-2020)

Import duties

Any goods coming from overseas into the Indonesian customs territory are treated as “import” and are generally subject to import duty. Importation of goods into Indonesia is subject to Customs verification. Importer must register with the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to obtain a Business Registration Number (NIB) (Deloitte, 2019)

The Omnibus Law

The Omnibus Law on Job Creation intended to stimulate domestic and foreign investment by removing bureaucratic red tape. It was passed in October 2020 and aimed at addressing issues such as ease of obtaining business permits, land acquisition for business purposes, tax and labour.

Operating in Indonesia

Intellectual property (IP)

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial. Rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office’s International IP Service provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP in Indonesia and in ASEAN.

British Businesses looking for IP support can also contact the South East Asia IP Attaché team.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.