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Economic Overview

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Indonesia is seen as a future economic giant. It is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and the world's seventh by purchasing power parity (Index Mundi, 2021). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country registered negative GDP growth for the first time since 1998, going from +5% in 2019 to -2.1% in 2020. The GDP growth rate for 2021 was back in the positive territory with an estimated +3.2% (IMF, October 2021). The usual key drivers of the economy are private domestic consumption - stimulated by its huge market with a growing middle class of nearly 70 million people (55% of GDP), while the major issues are the ongoing trade tensions between China and the US, the country's two biggest trading partners, and the prolonged depreciation of the Rupiah. According to the IMF's October 2021 forecast, GDP growth is expected to return in full force at 5.9% in 2022 and 6.4% in 2023, subject to the post-pandemic global economy recovery.

According to the IMF, the budget deficit rose from 2.2% of GDP in 2019 to 4.7% in 2020 and 4.9% in 2021.The estimation predicts stabilisation of the deficit at 4.1% in 2022, before a reduction to 2.6% in 2023. Inflation was estimated at 1.6% in 2021 and is expected to increase to 2.8% in 2022 and 3.2% in 2023 (IMF, October 2021). Public debt has shown a significant improvement since the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998 (it reached up to 150% of GDP), but it rose slightly to 30.6% of GDP in 2019 before climbing again due to the COVID pandemic to 36.6% in 2020 and 41.4% in 2021. The debt is expected to reach 43.3% in 2022 and 42.8% in 2023 (IMF, October 2021). Three social programmes (RPJMN, PNPM Urban and PAMSIMAS) have been launched to ensure that the poorest strata of the population have access to healthcare and education. Other structural issues that remain to be tackled include a large public infrastructure gap, high labour informality and youth unemployment, and low educational attainment. Environmental protection also remains a major challenge. The government hopes to take advantage of the country's strategic location between Asia and the Pacific in the current unfavourable international context (weakening demand from China and falling commodity prices), and aims to be in the top six largest economies by 2030.

In 2022, the country’s most immediate challenge remains related to the economic, social and public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it has been decreasing over the last decade the unemployment rate has sharply increased from 5.2% in 2019 to 7.1% in 2020 and 6.6% in 2021. It should remains relatively high for the region in 2022 with 6% before being reduced to near pre-COVID level in 2023 with 5.6% (IMF, October 2021). The number of people working in vulnerable conditions has also increased in 2021. Indonesia has achieved enormous gains in poverty reduction, cutting the poverty rate by more than half since 1999, to approximately 9.8% of the population in 2020. The effect of the pandemic pushed it to 10.4% in 2021 (World Bank, 2022). Indeed, the country has still one of the fastest rising inequality rates in the East Asia region according to World Bank. In a few months, the pandemic reversed some hard-won advances in well-being, with poverty, malnutrition, and even hunger rising fast (OECD, 2021).

 
Main Indicators 201920202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 1,120.041,059.64e1,150.251,247.351,356.34
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 5.0-2.13.35.66.0
GDP per Capita (USD) 4,1963,922e4,2254,5384,889
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -2.2-4.7-4.9-4.1-2.6
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 30.636.641.443.342.8
Inflation Rate (%) 2.82.01.62.83.2
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force) 5.27.16.66.05.6
Current Account (billions USD) -30.28-4.45-3.11-12.69-23.71
Current Account (in % of GDP) -2.7-0.4-0.3-1.0-1.7

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database , October 2021

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by La Coface.

 

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Main Sectors of Industry

Indonesia is a market economy with abundant natural resources, a young, large and burgeoning population (277.7 million), a labor force of 135 million people in 2022, and political stability. The country changed from being an economy that was highly dependent on agriculture into a more balanced economy which is lessening its traditional dependency on primary exports. The agricultural sector contributes to 13.7% of the country’s GDP and employed 27.7% of the active population in 2021 (World Bank, 2022). Indonesia is the second-largest natural rubber producer in the world. Other major crops include rice, sugarcane, coffee, tea, tobacco, palm oil, coconuts and spices. Besides, the country is the world's biggest nickel ore producer and has become a major exporter of stainless steel. Indonesian land area used for agriculture has been growing, and is currently around 30%. This is mainly due to the establishment of large-scale plantations - in particular for palm oil production (second-largest export). Indonesia is the only Asian country to have been a member of the OPEC, although its membership is frozen since December 2017 because it would not agree to production cuts mandated by OPEC.

Industry contributed approximately to 38.3% of GDP and employed 22.7% of the labour force in 2021 (World Bank, 2022). The industrial sector includes manufacturing of textiles, cement, chemical fertilisers, electronic products, rubber tyres, clothing and shoes (most of these are for the American market). Wood processing is also a major activity as the country is one of the world's largest timber producers. The implementation of the Indonesian-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) to combat illegal logging is making progress and Indonesia has become the first country in the world to receive an exemption from screening to ensure its timber is sourced in accordance with EU regulations. Over 3 million hectares of Indonesian forests are certified, and over 2.2 million hectares among then are natural production forest concession.

The service sector (financial institutions, transportation and communications) contributes to 44.4% of the GDP and employed 49.6% of the active population in 2021 (World Bank, 2022). The banking sector is well developed and the Islamic bank Syaria has expanded rapidly in recent years. Tourism is a major source of revenue, although the sector has suffered from terrorist threats and natural catastrophes in the past few years. From January to October 2019, the country received 13.6 million visitors, an increase of 4.6% compared to the same period of 2018 (Ministry of Tourism data). The government was expecting the country to become a leading Asian and World tourism destination by 2045 with 73 million tourists. Since 2020 the country is waiting for the world's borders to open again to international travel.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a powerful impact on the global economy since 2020. Nevertheless, the global recovery continues, even if the momentum has weakened towards the end of 2021 and uncertainty has increased as the pandemic resurged, leaving lasting imprints on medium-term performance. The surge in global inflation has investors fretting about future growth, but many economists say price surges will subside, making way for 4.7% global GDP growth in 2022 (International Monetary Fund - IMF, 2022 & Morgan Stanley, 2021). The impact of the pandemic appears to have affected both sides of most sectors and markets in Indonesia for the second year in a row - demand disruptions having run up against supply problems - making the short-term outlook uncertain for agriculture, industry and service sectors.

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 28.5 22.4 49.1
Value Added (in % of GDP) 13.7 38.3 44.4
Value Added (Annual % Change) 1.8 -2.8 -1.4

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 13,308.3313,380.8714,236.9414,147.7014,582.20

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

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Foreign Trade

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, Latest Available Data

 

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Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Joko Widodo (since 20 October 2014) - PDI-P
Vice-President: Ma'ruf Amin (since 20 October 2019) - Independent
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2024
House of Representatives: 2024
Current Political Context
The government led by the President Joko Widodo, who was re-elected for a second five-year term in May 2019, focuses on structural reform and improving governance. It has begun a thorough overhaul of the energy subsidy programme, which will fund infrastructure renovation and provide aid to the agricultural sector. With a focus on domestic issues during his second term, the president reaffirmed the reform agenda in 2020, particularly regarding labour, healthcare and infrastructure, in order to lure foreign investments and bolster growth. Seeking to push forward the reform agenda with ease, Joko Widodo brought key opponents into his cabinet to form a broad coalition, hoping that it would weaken critics over the government. The Omnibus Bill was passed and signed into law in October 2020 and could reform labour, taxes and other important laws in order to reduce bureaucracy and stimulate investment in a post-pandemic economy. Moreover, to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, the Government has announced a fiscal package amounting to 4.3 percent of GDP. The package includes funds to improve the preparedness of the health sector and a substantial increase in social assistance.

In 2021, the President Joko Widodo pulled another political party, the National Mandate Party, into his expanding coalition, which now controls 82 percent of the 575 seats in the House of Representatives. Despite growing public concern about pressures on civil liberties and the government’s pandemic difficulties, he remains incredibly popular with Indonesian voters. The President has accelerated the construction of dozens of much-needed highways, ports, and airports, with traffic-clogged Jakarta getting the country’s first-ever subway line in 2019. But in 2021, in the context of an aggravating COVID crisis, he struggled to deliver on his promises of high economic growth, pro-business reform, and improved social welfare.

Main Political Parties
Single parties have little chance of garnering power alone. Thus, parties often work together to form coalition governments. Primary representation in parliament consists of both nationalist secular parties and moderate and Islamic-oriented groups. The major parties are:
Governing Coalition
- Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P): centre-left, follows Pancasila’ideology based on the five founding principles of the Constitution; split-away group from the PD, led by ex-President Megawati Sukarnoputri
- Party of Functional Groups (Golkar): follows conservative liberalism, advocates democratic and liberal values
- National Awakening Party (PKB): Islamist, Pancasila ideoligy, nationalism
- United Development Party (PPP): Islamic democracy, nationalist islamism, Pancasila ideology
Opposition:
- National Mandate Party (PAN), Islamic democracy, Pancasila ideology
- Democratic Party (PD): centrist, Pancasila ideology
- Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Islamist, conservative
- Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), conservatism, nationalism, populism
Executive Power
The President is both the head of the State and the head of the Government. The President enjoys the executive power and appoints the cabinet. Both the President and the Vice-President are elected through direct universal suffrage for five-year terms. The President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and responsible for domestic governance and policy-making and foreign affairs.
Legislative Power
The legislature in Indonesia is bicameral. The highest representative body at the national level is the parliament of the country, the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). It consists of the DPR (House of People’s Representatives - lower house) with 575 members elected directly to serve five-year terms, and the DPD (House of Regional Representatives - upper house) with 136 seats, each province electing 4 members on a non-party basis. The President cannot dissolve the parliament but he has the power to veto bills. In turn, a super-majority of legislators may act to override the veto. The people of Indonesia have limited political rights.
 

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COVID-19 Country Response

COVID-19 epidemic evolution
To find out about the latest status of the COVID-19 pandemic evolution and the most up-to-date statistics on the COVID19 disease in Indonesia please visit the official website Covid19.go.id (in Indonesian), as well as the daily updates from The Jakarta Post.
For the international outlook you can consult the latest situation reports published by the World Health Organisation as well as the global daily statistics on the coronavirus pandemic evolution including data on confirmed cases and deaths by country.
Sanitary measures
To find out about the latest public health situation in Indonesia and the current sanitary measures in vigour, please visit the Indonesian Ministry of Health’s website, as well as that of the US embassy in Indonesia.
Travel restrictions
The COVID-19 situation, including the spread of new variants, evolves rapidly and differs from country to country. All travelers need to pay close attention to the conditions at their destination before traveling. Regularly updated information for all countries with regards to Covid-19 related travel restrictions in place including entry regulations, flight bans, test requirements and quarantine is available on TravelDoc Infopage.
It is also highly recommended to consult COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map provided and updated on the daily basis by IATA.
The US government website of Centers of Disease Control and Prevention provides COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.
The UK Foreign travel advice also provides travelling abroad advice for all countries, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.
Import & export restrictions
For the up-to-date information on all the measures applicable to movement of goods during the period of sanitary emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak (including eventual restrictions on imports and exports, if applicable), please consult the website of the Ministry of Trade and that of the Directorate General for Customs and Excise.
For a general overview of trade restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the section dedicated to Indonesia on the International Trade Centre's COVID-19 Temporary Trade Measures webpage.
Economic recovery plan
For information on the economic recovery scheme put in place by the Indonesian government to address the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on the economy, reference KPMG Indonesia’s Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.
For a general overview of the key economic policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak (fiscal, monetary and macroeconomic) taken by the Indonesian government to limit the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the section dedicated to Indonesia in the IMF’s Policy Tracker platform.
Support plan for businesses
For the information on the local business support scheme established by the Indonesian government to help small and medium-sized companies to deal with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic on their activity, refer to KPMG's website. Further details are available on the platform of the German-Indonesian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (EKONID).
For a general overview of international SME support policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak refer to the OECD's SME Covid-19 Policy Responses document.
You can also consult the World Bank's Map of SME-Support Measures in Response to COVID-19.
Support plan for exporters
For the up-to-date information on possible support plans for exporters in Indonesia, if applicable, please consult the website of the Ministry of Trade.
 

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