Could Indonesia be your next business move?

Monday, September 11, 2017

LATimes.com - A thriving economy, a healthy labor market and abundant natural resources are positioning Indonesia as a global market leader for new trade, tourism and investment opportunities. The upcoming Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI), Oct. 11 to 15 in BSD City, Jakarta, gives forward-thinking importers, buyers and traders a valuable opportunity to learn more about growing their businesses by collaborating with this emerging modern country.

The trade relationship between the United States and Indonesia is solid, and getting even better.

“Trade between Indonesia and the U.S. is complementary to each other’s industries and domestic needs, rather than competing head-to-head,” said Simon Soekarno, Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Los Angeles. “In the last 10 years, two-way trade has grown 53 percent to $25.2 billion in 2016.”

Sandwiched between Asia and Australia, Indonesia with more than 17,500 islands is a diverse nation 3,200 miles in length with a population of approximately 262 million, making it the fourth most densely populated country on earth. With access to and from the Pacific and Indian oceans, Indonesia’s temperate climate and enviable location lend nicely to trade in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres.

Hosted by the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, Trade Expo Indonesia is the country’s largest annual business-to-business trade event. The expo attracted more than 15,500 visitors from 110 countries in 2016, generating transactions valued at $1.07 billion. More than 16,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s event.

Throughout the four-day expo, attendees can interact with 1,100 exhibitors representing uniquely Indonesian products and services, network with other buyers from around the world, and gather insights during a trade and investment forum.

“TEI showcases exporters from a wide range of industries,” said Antonius Budiman, Director of the Indonesian Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) in Los Angeles. “The event has strong participation from both the public and private sectors, gathering buyers and traders, manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, hoteliers and restaurateurs, business and trade associations, agents, investors and media all under one roof.”

Best-selling Indonesian products to the U.S. in 2016 included knit and woven apparel, electrical machinery, furniture, processed foods, spices, essential oils and building materials. Additionally, Indonesia is world’s largest producer of rattan wood, plywood, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa.

“The notable Indonesian export trends to the U.S. are increased animal and vegetable oils for the food and chemical industry by 38 percent as compared to 2015, and the surging export of miscellaneous chemical products for various manufacturing industries by 47 percent,” Soekarno added. “The most notable U.S. exports to Indonesia are agricultural products such as soybeans and wheat, as well as cotton yarn and fabric for apparel production.”

Many Indonesian industries are currently undergoing the continual process of upgrading machinery and manufacturing processes, giving them the ability to work efficiently and produce high-quality products while reducing production costs.

“Buyers need predictability and certainty from their suppliers,” Budiman said. “Indonesia is a stable country politically and economically, providing assurance that supply will not pose any problem in the future.”

Improved transportation logistics between Indonesia and the U.S. are another benefit to existing and prospective trade partners. In April 2017, Indonesia’s hub port in North Jakarta began direct shipping to Los Angeles, an instrumental move to strengthen trade flow between the two countries.

“I strongly believe that trade between our two countries only will grow stronger,” Soekarno said. “There’s so much untapped potential between Indonesia and the U.S. Having U.S. industries visit TEI will create excellent networking opportunities among producers with eyes for good quality product.”

The 32nd annual Trade Expo Indonesia runs Oct. 11 to 15, 2017, at the Indonesian Convention Exhibition in BSD City, greater Jakarta. For more information and attendance registration, visit tradexpoindonesia.com or visit the Indonesia Trade Promotion Center in LA at 3457 Wilshire Blvd. or email to info@itpcla.com.


Think big. Think Indonesia. 

—Amy Lynch for Indonesian Trade Promotion Center