Indonesia – Business Development and Strategy

Indonesia has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and it is because of that, the country offers an excellent opportunity for businesses of all types. The country also has plans to complete construction of up to 15 airports by 2020, and another terminal is being added at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, which should be ready for business in 2021. So, right off the bat it isn’t hard to see that businesses in the construction industry can capitalize on the growing number of building projects. 

Another attractive sector is education, which has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. The country also has the fourth-largest educational system in the world, with close to a million universities, colleges, and schools. 

Recent Developments for Businesses in Indonesia 

Earlier this year, in March 2019, the country signed a free trade agreement with Australia, which in effect will remove all tariffs from Indonesian imports. So, any business which hopes to export to Australia and dodge the high tariffs can do so through Indonesia while reaping other benefits like lower labor costs. 

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) also signed a Closer Economic Partnership Agreement with Indonesia in 2019. Once the agreement goes into effect, it will open up various trade routes through Europe for which will give Indonesian businesses a much larger reach into what is a very diverse market. 

Ease of Doing Business 

The World Bank Group ranks Indonesia at 73 in the world in the Ease of Doing Business Index. China is ranked 46, Malaysia is 15, and the Philippines is 124 to put things into context. However, it is on an upward trend since 2013, when it was ranked 128, and then 91 in 2017. 

Invest in Property 

Starting in 2015, foreigners or foreign entrepreneurs can now legally own land in the country. There are three purposes for owning land, i.e. to build, to use or to cultivate. 

Hak Paki, as it is called, means that foreigners and foreign entrepreneurs can now buy houses and apartments, which can then mean that they become temporary or permanent residents. Foreigners can also incorporate a so-called buy-to-let business. However, foreigners will require a permanent work or resident permit to invest in property. 

Dealing with the Language Barrier 

Many foreign businesses fear the so-called language barrier, and with 700 languages spoken in the country, it can be a challenge to give your brand a voice. Thankfully, English is widely spoken. So, foreigners living in large cities like Jakarta can easily network and do business in English. However, if you expect to brand the business in the country it should be done in the local language. 

Thankfully, a translation service should be able to make sure that your branding and marketing material is in the local language and is culturally suitable. What’s more, is that the service isn’t all that expensive, but adopting the local language for your business will mean ready acceptance by Indonesians, especially if it targets regular people.