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Indonesia: Market Profile

Picture: Indonesia factsheet
Picture: Indonesia factsheet

1. Overview

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation. It has maintained political stability and is one of Asia Pacific’s most vibrant economies, emerging as a buoyant middle-income country. The country's economic planning follows a 20-year development plan, spanning from 2005 to 2025. It is segmented into five-year medium-term plans, called the RPJMN Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Nasional (RPJMN), each with different development priorities. The current medium-term development plan – the third phase of the long-term plan – runs from 2015 to 2020. It focusses on, among others, infrastructure development and social assistance programmes related to education and healthcare. To strengthen the country’s investment climate and economic growth, the government continues to announce policy reforms intended to cut red tape.

Sources: World Bank, Fitch Solutions

2. Major Economic/Political Events and Upcoming Elections

June 2018
Regional and local elections were held on June 27, 2018 to elect 17 governors, 39 mayors and 115 regents across the country. The elections included gubernatorial elections for Indonesia's four most populous provinces: West Java, East Java, Central Java and North Sumatra.

September 2018
A major earthquake and tsunami killed more than 2,000 people on the island of Sulawesi, around the city of Palu.

Sources: BBC Country Profile - Timeline, Fitch Solutions Political Risk Analysis

3. Major Economic Indicators

Graph: Indonesia real GDP and inflation
Graph: Indonesia real GDP and inflation
Graph: Indonesia GDP by sector (2017)
Graph: Indonesia GDP by sector (2017)
Graph: Indonesia unemployment rate
Graph: Indonesia unemployment rate
Graph: Indonesia current account balance
Graph: Indonesia current account balance

e = estimate, f = forecast
Sources: IMF, World Bank
Date last reviewed: Ocotber 17, 2018

4. External Trade

4.1 Merchandise Trade

Graph: Indonesia merchandise trade
Graph: Indonesia merchandise trade

Source: WTO
Date last reviewed: October 17, 2018

Graph: Indonesia major export commodities (2017)
Graph: Indonesia major export commodities (2017)
Graph: Indonesia major export commodities (2017)
Graph: Indonesia major export commodities (2017)
Graph: Indonesia major import commodities (2017)
Graph: Indonesia major import commodities (2017)
Graph: Indonesia major import markets (2017)
Graph: Indonesia major import markets (2017)

Sources: Trade Map, Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: October 17, 2018

4.2 Trade in Services

Graph: Indonesia trade in services
Graph: Indonesia trade in services

Source: WTO
Date last reviewed: October 17, 2018

5. Trade Policies

  • Indonesia has been a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since January 1, 1995.

  • Indonesia is a member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a signatory to the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which aims to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade between member states. ASEAN has also negotiated an FTZs with Australia, New Zealand, China, India, South Korea and Japan. The latter has a separate bilateral FTA with Indonesia.

  • While Indonesia's membership in numerous regional and economic bloc and an FTA arrangements has resulted in the country having a very low applied average tariff rate of 2.3% (which is the sixth lowest in East and South East Asia), there are numerous other barriers to trading with the country. There is significant trade bureaucracy (time and costs) involved for supply chains both when exporting out of and importing in to Indonesia.

  • Import tariffs are mostly imposed on an ad valorem basis in Indonesia. The import duty ranges between 0-20% for most items, except for certain items such as alcohol, tobacco and cars, which face duties up to 150%.

  • Value-added tax (VAT) is applicable on deliveries (sales) of goods and services within Indonesia at a rate of 10%. VAT on export of goods is zero-rated, while the import of goods is subject to VAT at a rate of 10%.

  • The average applied MFN tariff is 7.8% for non-agricultural products and 8.4% for agricultural imports. More than 85% of tariff rates are currently in the range of 0%-10%. In line with long-standing sectoral support, the highest tariffs apply mainly to motor vehicles.

  • In January 2017, Indonesia relaxed the ban on unprocessed mineral exports in an attempt to boost the economy and ease budgetary pressures. The ban was implemented in 2014 to promote the domestic mineral processing industry and encourage exports of higher value-added mineral products.

  • In June 2018, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture introduced a subsidy on hybrid corn seeds, which is expected to increase corn production by 40.5% until 2025. To achieve this goal, it shall distribute 40% of the total demand for hybrid corn seeds, which can negatively can affect imports of hybrid corn seeds into Indonesia.

  • In August 2018, the Indonesian government announced an increase in tariffs on over 500 consumer goods to 7.5% in order to reduce imports and improve the current account. Since the announcement, the planned number of goods affected by the tariffs has increased from 500 to 900 and some tariffs have increased to 10%. Affected products are primarily consumer goods, as opposed to raw materials, as imported consumer goods can easily be substituted for domestic ones.

Sources: WTO – Trade Policy Review, Global Trade Alert, Fitch Solutions

6. Trade Agreement

6.1 Trade Updates

  • In April 2018, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Indonesia Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) entered into an agreement to commit up to USD100 million to support businesses and trade activities between Indonesia and African countries.

  • Indonesia is set to become part of one of the largest Asian/Southern Hemisphere FTAs, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The ultimate aim is to have the RCEP signed in November 2018. Major negotiations for the eventual conclusion of the RCEP occurred in April 2018.

6.2 Multinational Trade Agreements

Active

  1. Indonesia is a member of WTO. (Effective date: January 1995)

  2. ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) (Effective date: January 1993): AFTA reduces tariff and non-tariff barriers between member states; in particular, Indonesia's trade with Malaysia and Singapore are significantly boosted. The 10 members of the ASEAN FTA are: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia and Cambodia.

  3. ASEAN-China FTA and Economic Integration Agreement (Effective date: January 2005 for goods and July 2007 for services): The FTA is a comprehensive economic cooperation between ASEAN member states and China. The goal of the agreement is not just eliminating tariffs, but it also seeks to address behind-the-border barriers that impede the flow of goods and services.

  4. Japan-Indonesia FTA and Economic Integration Agreement (Effective date: July 2008): The FTA is aimed at facilitating, promoting and liberalising trade in goods and services between the parties. Japan is Indonesia's third largest export and import partner; this FTA provides a strong boost to trade ties and helps the country balance its reliance on China.

  5. Pakistan-Indonesia FTA (effective date: September 2013): the FTA allows Indonesia to offer market access to Pakistan for 216 products at preferential rates, including fresh fruits, cotton yarn, cotton fabrics, ready-made garments, sports items and leather goods. Pakistan's offer list to Indonesia includes a total of 287 tariff lines at preferential tariffs; the country has also agreed to give the same treatment to Indonesian palm oil products as provided to Malaysia under the Pakistan-Malaysia FTA. In addition, Indonesia has cancelled its tariffs on imports from Pakistan of the regionally important citrus fruit, kinnow (a type of mandarin), creating a level playing field in the Indonesian market for this product, which is produced in both Pakistan and India.

  6. ASEAN-Republic of Korea FTA and Economic Integration Agreement (effective date: July 2007): The FTA allows 90% of the products being traded between ASEAN and South Korea to enjoy duty-free treatment.

  7. Preferential Tariff Arrangement-Group of Eight Developing Countries (Effective date: August 2011): The agreement involves countries that are members of the D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Nigeria. The objective of the member countries is to reach a preferential trade agreement to enhance intra-trade and to reach an agreement on administrative assistance in customs matters to support the preferential trade agreement.

  8. ASEAN-India FTA and Economic Integration Agreement (Effective date: January 2010): The agreement involves the liberalisation of tariffs on over 90% of products traded between the two regions, including the so-called 'special products', such as palm oil (crude and refined), coffee, black tea and pepper.

  9. ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA and Economic Integration Agreement (Effective date: January 2010): The agreement aims to eliminate tariffs on 99% of exports to key ASEAN markets by 2020.

  10. ASEAN-Japan FTA (effective date: December 2008): the agreement includes commitments on trade, investment and official development assistance.

Signed But Not Yet in Effect

  1. ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA (signed in November 2017 and expected to enter into force on January 1, 2019 the earliest): The deal aims to cover all aspects of trade in goods, such as tariffs; rules of origin; non-tariff measures; customs procedures and trade facilitation; trade remedies; technical barriers to trade; and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

  2. Indonesia-Chile FTA: The FTA will lead to the gradual removal by the Indonesian government of tariffs on 9,308 products with a further 590 products seeing tariffs reduced by either 25% or 50% on the current rate. At the same time, Chile will remove tariffs on 7,660 items, 78% of them immediately after the trade deal enters into force, 2.1% at the beginning of its fourth year, and 9.2% in the sixth year.

Under Negotiation

  1. India-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Arrangement: The arrangement seeks to expand and develop bilateral relations and cooperation in the fields of trade, industry, investment and other economic fields.

  2. Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement: The agreement presents potential for increased trade in services with Indonesia. Given the nature of the two economies, services trade is likely to comprise a larger proportion of Australia’s total exports than with other countries.

  3. Indonesia-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) FTA: The FTA will help Indonesia penetrate the European market and increase investment flows from EFTA member states Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein into the Southeast Asia country.

  4. Indonesia-Turkey FTA: The FTA will seek to remove factors that hinder trade with Turkey, including import and export duties of some commodities.

  5. RCEP: RCEP is a proposed FTA between the 10 member states of the ASEAN, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and the six states with which ASEAN has existing FTA (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand). RCEP will cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical co-operation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement and other issues.

Note: Only major FTAs cited
Sources: WTO Regional Trade Agreements database, Fitch Solutions

7. Investment Policy

7.1 Foreign Direct Investment

Graph: Indonesia FDI stock
Graph: Indonesia FDI stock
Graph: Indonesia FDI flow
Graph: Indonesia FDI flow

Source: UNTCAD
Date last reviewed: October 17, 2018

7.2 Foreign Direct Investment Policy

  1. Government bodies which are responsible for FDI promotion, licencing and regulations: The Investment Coordination Board (BKPM) serves as an investment promotion agency, a regulatory body, and the agency in charge of approving planned investments in Indonesia.

  2. Indonesia restricts foreign investment in some sectors through a 'Negative Investment List'. The Negative Investment List aims to consolidate FDI restrictions from numerous decrees and regulations in order to create greater certainty for foreign and domestic investors. There are a number of business operations in which foreigners are explicitly barred from participating. These include the production of alcoholic beverages, as well as the ownership of public museums, historical sites and casinos. In addition, FDI in other sectors faces a variety of restrictions, most of which include requirements for special licenses and/or caps on foreign ownership. Some of these more restricted industries include forestry, tourism, telecommunications, energy, mining and finance.

  3. Foreigners cannot effectively own land in Indonesia in both urban and rural settings. They can obtain formal rights to use the land for a certain period for purposes, such as mineral expropriation, agriculture, building and commercial purposes by forming a legal entity (company) incorporated according to Indonesian law and domiciled in Indonesia. Businesses can purchase apartments and office space in Indonesia valid for a period of time, if various stringent stipulations are complied with. It still remains a difficult and time onerous process.

  4. In order to conduct business in Indonesia, foreign investors must be incorporated as a foreign-owned limited liability company in Indonesia (PMA). Investors are also required to participate in the Workers Social Security Program or BPJS.

  5. Foreign investors are generally prohibited from investing in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Indonesia, although the 2016 Negative Investment List opened some opportunities for partnerships in farming, catalogue and online retail.

  6. The Indonesian government is attempting to ensure that it maintains a stake in the exploitation of the country's national resources, by starting to maintain that foreign-owned mining companies must gradually divest over 10 years 51% of shares to Indonesian interests, with the price of divested shares determined based on fair market value and not taking into account existing reserves. Under new proposed oil and gas laws, the state's national oil company will have right of first refusal over any new oil and gas contract in Indonesia.

  7. The Indonesian government expects foreign investors to contribute to the training and development of Indonesian nationals, allowing the transfer of skills and technology required for their effective participation in the management of foreign companies. As a general rule, a company can hire foreigners only for positions that the government has deemed open to non-Indonesians. Employers must have training programs aimed at replacing foreign workers with Indonesians.

  8. High regulatory uncertainty exists in the mining, oil and gas and construction industries. Indonesia regularly issues and reverses various policies on export bans, taxes and licensing requirements which create significant investor uncertainty in these sectors.

Sources: WTO – Trade Policy Review, ITA, US Department of Commerce, Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: August 15, 2018

7.3 Free Trade Zones and Investment Incentives

Free Trade Zone/Incentive ProgrammeMain Incentives Available
Batam Island Free Trade Zone (FTZ)• Largest FTZ located just south of Singapore (bonded zone)
• Investors are not required to apply for additional implementation licenses (location, construction, and nuisance act permits and land titles)
• Foreign companies allowed 100% ownership
• Import duty, income tax, VAT and sales tax exemption on imported capital goods

Sources: US Department of Commerce, Fitch Solutions

8. Taxation – 2018

NIL

9. Foreign Worker Requirements

9.1 Localisation Requirements

A company can hire foreigners only for positions that the government has deemed open to non-Indonesians. Employers must have training programs aimed at replacing foreign workers with Indonesians. The foreign worker must meet education, work experience, and Indonesian language requirements and commit to transfer knowledge to an Indonesian counterpart.

9.2 Obtaining Foreign Worker Permits for Skilled Workers

Staying in Indonesia for work purposes for a long period (or anything over five weeks) requires the approval of the Immigration office in Indonesia, and foreign workers must have the necessary visa, work and stay permits, which can be applied for by the sponsor/counterpart in Indonesia at the Immigration office in Indonesia. Foreigners can only be issued with limited/temporary resident visas for a maximum period of 12 months with the possibility of extension, though this is again subject to approval from the Immigration office. The process of obtaining a visa and work permits for foreigners in Indonesia is lengthy, taking on average three months. It is also a bureaucratically complex process. The temporary resident visa can only be obtained if the applicant has a sponsor/counterpart in Indonesia to help them obtain the visa by applying to the Immigration office.

9.3 Visa/Travel Restrictions

Given that Indonesia has a significant tourism industry, there are many countries (such as those in the EU) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) nations whose citizens can obtain visas on arrival in order to enter Indonesia for periods of up to 30-60 days. This means that Indonesia is an easy country to enter for business trip purposes.

Sources: Government websites, Fitch Solutions

10. Risks

10.1 Sovereign Credit Ratings


Rating (Outlook)Rating Date
Moody's
Baa2 (Stable)13/04/2018
Standard & Poor'sBBB- (Stable)19/05/2017
Fitch Raings
BBB (Stable)02/09/2018

Sources: Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings

10.2 Competitiveness and Efficiency Indicators


World Ranking
201620172018
Ease of doing business Index
109/189
91/190
72/190
Ease of paying taxes Index
115/189
104/190114/190
Logistics Performance Index
63/160
N/A46/160
Corruption Perception Index
90/176
96/180N/A
IMD World Competitiveness48/6142/6343/63

Sources: Source: World Bank, IMD, Transparency International

10.3 Fitch Solutions Risk Indices


World Ranking
201620172018
Economic Risk Index Rank37/202
Short-Term Economic Risk Score68.1
68.1
69.2
Long-Term Economic Risk Score67.9
68.5
69
Political Risk Index Rank94/202
Short-Term Political Risk Score72.9
72.9
70.6
Long-Term Political Risk Score67.9
68.5
63.2
Operational Risk Index Rank83/201
Operational Risk Score52.2
52.2
52.6

Source: Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: October 18, 2018

10.4 Fitch Solutions Risk Summary

ECONOMIC RISK
Indonesia's short-term economic risk is constrained by an inefficient tax system and reliance on resource revenue, while its long-term economic risk is dragged down by the poor quality of government expenditure and the high volatility of its currency.

OPERATIONAL RISK
There are various opportunities for investment in Indonesia, which is South East Asia's largest economy. The manufacturing, ICT, financial services, oil and gas and infrastructure sectors all represent attractive options for FDI, while portfolio investment, through increasingly sophisticated local financial markets, is a key source of capital inflows. Furthermore, businesses in Indonesia are able to make use of the country's strategic location on vital global shipping lanes, which paired with the various port projects happening in Indonesia, bodes well for the future.

Source: Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: October 18, 2018

10.5 Fitch Solutions Political and Economic Risk Indices

Graph: Indonesia short term political risk index
Graph: Indonesia short term political risk index
Graph: Indonesia long term political risk index
Graph: Indonesia long term political risk index
Graph: Indonesia short term economic risk index
Graph: Indonesia short term economic risk index
Graph: Indonesia long term economic risk index
Graph: Indonesia long term economic risk index

100 = Lowest Risk, 0 = Highest Risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Political and Economic Risk Indices
Date last reviewed: October 18, 2018

10.6 Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index


Operational RiskLabour Market RiskTrade and Investment RiskLogistics RiskCrime and Security Risk
Indonesia Score52.651.553.956.848.4
East and Southeast Asia average55.256.555.754.054.4
East and Southeast Asia position (out of 18)1112
10811
Asia average48.750.647.746.350.1
Asia position (out of 35)1114
101018
Global average49.649.749.9
49.149.8
Global Position (out of 201)8390
8463101
Graph: Indonesia vs global and regional averages
Graph: Indonesia vs global and regional averages
Country
Operational Risk
Labour Market RiskTrade and Investment RiskLogistics RiskCrime and Security Risk
Singapore83.177.8
89.9
74.9
89.7
Hong Kong81.671.2
88.5
77.0
89.5
Taiwan73.366.4
74.3
73.4
79.2
South Korea70.963.5
67.5
79.6
73.1
Malaysia67.861.6
73.5
75.7
60.5
Macau62.864.2
66.9
52.0
68.0
Brunei61.462.8
57.2
55.0
70.6
Thailand58.956.7
65.2
68.4
45.2
China56.753.9
52.2
66.3
54.4
Vietnam53.752.6
55.5
55.6
51.3
Indonesia52.651.5
53.9
56.8
48.4
Mongolia51.357.8
52.4
40.9
54.1
Philippines43.151.3
47.3
42.4
31.3
Cambodia42.546.7
46.0
37.7
39.5
Laos38.344.2
38.0
34.2
36.7
North Korea33.149.6
20.3
31.5
30.8
Myanmar32.145.5
28.2
30.0
24.9
Timor-Leste30.140.5
26.6
21.0
32.5
Regional Averages55.256.555.754.054.4
Emerging Markets Averages46.848.047.545.7
46.0
Global Markets Averages49.649.749.9
49.1
49.8

100 = Lowest risk, 0 = Highest risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index
Date last reviewed: October 18, 2018

11. Hong Kong Connection

11.1 Hong Kong’s Trade with Indonesia

Graph: Major export commodities to Indonesia (2017)
Graph: Major export commodities to Indonesia (2017)
Graph: Major import commodities from Indonesia (2017)
Graph: Major import commodities from Indonesia (2017)

Note: Graph shows the main Hong Kong imports from/exports to Indonesia (by consignment)
Date last reviewed: October 18, 2018

Graph: Merchandise exports to Indonesia
Graph: Merchandise exports to Indonesia
 
Graph: Merchandise imports from Indonesia
Graph: Merchandise imports from Indonesia
 

Note: Graph shows Hong Kong imports from/exports to Indonesia (by consignment)
Exchange Rate HK$/US$, average
7.76 (2013)
7.76 (2014)
7.75 (2015)
7.76 (2016)
7.79 (2017)
Source: Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department
Date last reviewed: October 18, 2018


2017
Growth rate (%)
Number of Indonesia residents visiting Hong Kong482,022
3.8
Number of Indonesians residing in Hong Kong136,697
1.6

Sources: Hong Kong Tourism Board, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Population Division


2017
Growth rate (%)
Number of Asia Pacific residents visiting Hong Kong54,482,5383.5
Number of East Asians and South Asians residing in Hong Kong1,392,435
1.6

Sources: Fitch Solutions, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Population Division
Date last reviewed: October 18, 2018

11.2 Commercial Presence in Hong Kong


2016
Growth rate (%)
Number of Indonesian companies in Hong KongN/AN/A
- Regional headquarters
- Regional offices
- Local offices


11.3 Treaties and agreements between Hong Kong and Indonesia

  • Indonesia has a Double Taxation Agreement with Hong Kong that entered into force in March 2012.
  • Hong Kong has an Air Service Agreement with Indonesia that entered into force on June 27, 1997.

Source: Inland Revenue Department

11.4 Chamber of Commerce (or Related Organisations) in Hong Kong

The Indonesia-Hong Kong Business Association

The Indonesia-Hong Kong Business Association (IDHKBA) is based in Indonesia.

Address: World Trade Centre 2, 19/F, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman Kav 29-31, Jakarta Selatan, 12920, Indonesia
Email: Jakarta.office@hktdc.org / idhkba@gmail.com
Tel: (021) 3005 2101

Source: IDHKBA

Consulate General of The Republic of Indonesia in Hong Kong
Address: 127-129 Leighton Road, 6-8 Keswick Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Email: info@cgrihk.com
Tel: (852) 3651 0200
Fax: (852) 2895 0139
Website: Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Hong Kong

11.5 Visa Requirements for Hong Kong Residents

Visa-free access valid for 30 days.

Source: Hong Kong Immigration Department
Date last reviewed: October 18, 2018

Content provided by Picture: Fitch Solutions – BMI Research