About Indonesia

Indonesia at a Glance
Population (2017) 263.9 million
GDP (2017) $1.004 trillion
GDP per capita (2017) $3,847
Ease of Doing Business Rank (2018) 72
U.S. Exports to Indonesia (2017) $6.2 billion
U.S. Imports from Indonesia (2017) $18.6 billion
U.S. FDI in Indonesia (2017) $42.6 billion

Sources:

Bureau of Economic Analysis; the World Bank; IMF; USTR;

U.S. Census Bureau; Trading Economics; Worldometers

The Council maintains dialogues and working relationships with policymakers in the Government of Indonesia and in important think tanks, business groups, and the media in Indonesia. The Council's industry-specific business visits to Indonesia (such as the clean energy policy dialogue this summer) are punctuated each year by its annual or semi-annual Indonesia Business Mission representing all sectors. The business mission provides member delegates with an opportunity to meet the most senior leadership in the Government of Indonesia, to confer with advocacy partners in the business community there and to be briefed by the American Ambassador and his team at the US Embassy. The business mission, as with all Council visits to Indonesia, is structured to accommodate member requests for meetings or events that would be of benefit to the Council's goals.

Indonesia in the United States

The deepening US-Indonesia relationship has resulted in a plethora of visits by Indonesian policymakers and thought-leaders to the United States. The Council invites relevant visitors to meet with Council members. Council members continuing dialogues, in particular, with the Ministers of Trade and Finance, the Chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board, and the international economic advisor to the President.

A Permanent Presence in Jakarta

The Council has fielded a permanent office, led by its Indonesia Representative in Jakarta since 2003. Today, the Council's Indonesia Representatives, Ms. Desi Indrimayutri brings a wealth of Indonesia experience and important connections to the benefit of Council members. Desi is available to members to assist in formulating advocacy strategy, communicating with government officials, arranging meetings for members in Indonesia, clarifying and reporting on government policy and actions, and responding to all member requests in Indonesia.

Success Stories in Indonesia

In 2007, the US-Indonesia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was raised to the Minister-level. Participation of the United States Trade Representative reflected the depth of issues being discussed in the TIFA as well as the successful negotiation of an agreement to combat illegal logging, the first agreement of the expanded TIFA. In November 2010, President Obama and President Yudhoyono officially launched the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership during President Obama's historic visit to Jakarta. Cooperation under the Comprehensive Partnership is outlined in a Plan of Action consisting of three pillars: political and security; economic and development; and socio-cultural, education, science, and technology cooperation. Six working groups have been tasked with coordinating strategies and highlighting policy initiatives and priorities under the Plan of Action. These groups focus on energy, security, trade and investment, democracy and civil society, education, and climate and environment. The U.S. Secretary of State and the Indonesian Foreign Minister co-chair a Joint Commission to ensure continued momentum to sustain the Partnership. In addition, the U.S.-Indonesia Commercial Dialogue, which the Council serves on the Steering Committee of, was launched in November 2011, and focuses on industrial cooperation and trade facilitation through a private sector project process.

About Indonesia

Indonesia is a diverse and culturally-rich archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and 300 ethnic groups, spanning the Indian and Pacific Oceans.  It is the world’s third largest democracy and boasts an economy growing at an average of 5.4 percent annually since 2000 (5 percent in 2014 and 5.2 percent forecast for 2015 by the World Bank) – by far the largest market in Southeast Asia.  A member of the G-20 group of nations and of APEC, Indonesia has a permanent presence on the world economic stage.  In 2010, Indonesia and the United States launched the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, increasing cooperation in health, science, technology and entrepreneurship.

Historically, Indonesia has been a resource-rich land, integral to spices, rubber and minerals trades, and a center of power for Javanese kings who had created a Southeast Asia-wide tributary system.  Portuguese explorers were the first to integrate Indonesia’s natural resource wealth into the European trading system.  Colonial powers Spain, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Japan followed, each claiming supremacy over the country.  During foreign occupations, however, an Indonesian Independence Movement gained in popularity and power and, under the leadership of Sukarno and Hatta, ousted the Dutch in 1949.  Sukarno was named president and led Indonesia during the turbulent post-colonial era in Southeast Asia and established Indonesia as a leader in the Non-Aligned Movement.  Sukarno was replaced by military leader Suharto in a coup in 1966, who stabilized Indonesia under authoritarian rule, bringing steady economic growth and drawing Indonesia closer to the West, but clamping down on democratic reforms.

The global Asian financial crisis helped to unhinge the Suharto regime and, after 32 years of authoritarian rule, Indonesia’s democratic movement was born in 1998.  Democratic reform began to set in under Presidents Habibie, Abdurrahman Wahid and Megawati Sukarnoputri.  In 2004 Indonesia instituted direct presidential elections and chose General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, widely known as SBY.  SBY was reelected resoundingly in 2009 and served until 2014.

On October 20, 2014, Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi) was inaugurated as the seventh President of the Republic of Indonesia and Jusuf Kalla as his Vice-President.  President Jokowi has made it clear that the Government’s top priority is boosting GDP growth rates to above 7 percent per year by 2019, while making growth more inclusive.  After cutting costly energy subsidies, the Government is shifting spending toward infrastructure and social programs like education and healthcare.  President Jokowi has prioritized infrastructure development, including building 24 seaports and adding 35GW of installed power.   The Government is pursuing a value-added industrial development policy.