Indonesia flag Indonesia: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Indonesia

Foreign Trade in Figures

Indonesia is open to foreign trade, which represented 33,2% of its GDP in 2020 (World Bank, 2022). The main exports are Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products (16% of all exports in 2021), animal, vegetable fats and oils, cleavage products (13%), iron and steel (6.6%), Electrical and electronic equipment (5.7%) and gold, precious stones, metals, coins (5%). Indonesia mostly imports machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers (15%), Electrical and electronic equipment (13%), Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products (11%), plastics (5.1%), iron and steel (4.8%). Indonesia became the world's largest exporter of thermal coal used in power stations in 2019 and has two major customers, China and India, the planet's two largest coal importers.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is forecasting a rebound of more than 18% in the volume of exports of goods and services of the country in 2022, after a fall of 10,6% in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, and an increase of more than 23.5% of its imports, after a fall of 17% in 2020.

China remained Indonesia's largest trading partner in 2021, buying up 20% of exports, followed by the United States (12%), Japan (8.6%), and Singapore (6.7%). The main suppliers are China (29%), Singapore (8.9%); Japan (7.7%), and the United State (6.3%). China and Indonesia are forging closer economic ties as the two countries face threats to their trade relations with the United States since the protectionist actions taken by President Donald Trump and the cautious approach of his successor. On the 15th of November 2020 Indonesia has signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with 14 other Indo-Pacific countries. This free trade agreement is the largest trade deal in history, covering 30 per cent of the global economy. It includes the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN : Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and ASEAN’s free trade agreement partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and Republic of Korea). The RCEP covers goods, services, investment, economic and technical cooperation. It also creates new rules for electronic commerce, intellectual property, government procurement, competition, and small and medium sized enterprises.

Indonesia's trade surplus widened to USD 3.51 billion in December 2021 from USD 2.61 billion the previous year. This was the nineteenth straight month of trade surplus, amid accelerating global trade ahead of year-end holidays and surging commodity prices. Exports grew 49.7 percent over a year earlier to a new record high of USD 22.84 billion, boosted by both non-oil products (48.4%) and oil and gas products (74.8%). Imports jumped 52.6% to an all-time high USD 19.33 billion, the tenth straight month of double-digit increase, amid strong domestic demand. Purchases of non-oil and gas surged by 40.8% while those of oil and gas soared 178.8%. The trade of goods recorded a surplus of USD 34.32 billion, as exports rose by 42.6% while imports advanced at a slower 37.5% (Statistics Indonesia and Trading Economics, 2021).  The country is betting on bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to revive the non-oil exports within the next five years. President Widodo insists on the need to export less raw materials and more processed goods to create more added value and jobs at home.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 135,653156,925188,708171,276141,622
Exports of Goods (million USD) 144,490168,811180,124167,683163,306
Imports of Services (million USD) 30,63732,59237,64339,20324,453
Exports of Services (million USD) 24,15124,66530,49030,91114,258

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 37.439.443.137.433.2
Trade Balance (million USD) 15,31818,814-2283,50828,214
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 8,23411,435-6,713-4,13318,618
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -2.48.112.1-7.4-14.7
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -1.78.96.5-0.9-7.7
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 18.319.222.119.016.0
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 19.120.221.018.417.2

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 8.95.75.57.68.7
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 8.110.110.58.89.6

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Indonesia is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ICC, Colombo Plan, WTO, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), G-15, G-20, G-77, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Indonesia click here. International organisation membership of Indonesia is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
Indonesia is a member of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) signed on 15 November 2020. The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Indonesia can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
China 19.5%
United States 11.4%
Japan 8.4%
Singapore 6.6%
India 6.4%
See More Countries 47.8%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
China 28.0%
Singapore 8.7%
Japan 7.5%
United States 6.1%
Malaysia 4.9%
See More Countries 44.7%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

163.3 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined...Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 10.6%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 8.9%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 3.4%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 3.3%
Ferro-alloysFerro-alloys 2.9%
See More Products 70.8%
141.6 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 5.6%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 4.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 2.4%
Wheat and meslinWheat and meslin 1.8%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 1.8%
See More Products 84.1%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: June 2022

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