Indonesia’s Top Trading Partners

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The Republic Indonesia shipped US$168.8 billion worth of products around the globe in 2017. That figure represents roughly 1.1% of overall global exports estimated at $15.952 trillion one year earlier in 2016.

From a continental perspective, 70.7% of Indonesian exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 11.6% were sold to North American importers closely trailed by European destinations at 11.4%.

Smaller percentages were shipped to Africa (2.8%), Australia and other Oceania importers (1.9%) and Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (1.5%).

Indonesia’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Indonesia’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Indonesian shipments by dollar value during 2017. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Indonesian exports.

  1. China: US$23 billion (13.7% of total Indonesian exports)
  2. United States: $17.8 billion (10.6%)
  3. Japan: $17.8 billion (10.5%)
  4. India: $14.1 billion (8.3%)
  5. Singapore: $12.8 billion (7.6%)
  6. Malaysia: $8.5 billion (5%)
  7. South Korea: $8.2 billion (4.8%)
  8. Philippines: $6.6 billion (3.9%)
  9. Thailand: $6.5 billion (3.8%)
  10. Taiwan: $4.2 billion (2.5%)
  11. Netherlands: $4 billion (2.4%)
  12. Vietnam: $3.6 billion (2.1%)
  13. Germany: $2.7 billion (1.6%)
  14. Australia: $2.5 billion (1.5%)
  15. Pakistan: $2.4 billion (1.4%)

Almost four-fifths (79.8%) of Indonesian exports in 2017 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Australia was the only top importers that decreased its purchases from Indonesia from 2016 to 2017, down in value by -21.6%. Among the other 14 countries, gains ranged from a minimum of 1.2% for Germany up to 39.5% for India.

Deficits

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.

It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.

  1. China: -US$12.7 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2017)
  2. Singapore: -$4.1 billion
  3. Australia: -$3.5 billion
  4. Thailand: -$2.8 billion
  5. Saudi Arabia: -$1.8 billion
  6. Nigeria: -$945.3 million
  7. Argentina: -$891.2 million
  8. Germany: -$868.9 million
  9. Qatar: -$766.9 million
  10. Canada: -$731.6 million

Among Indonesia’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Indonesian deficits with Australia (up 69.8%), Germany (up 66.8%) and Saudi Arabia (up 28.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Indonesia’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Indonesia to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Overall Indonesia garnered an $11.9 billion trade surplus during 2017, up 34.5% from $8.8 billion in black ink in 2016.

Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

  1. India: US$10 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2017)
  2. United States: $9.7 billion
  3. Philippines: $5.8 billion
  4. Netherlands: $3 billion
  5. Japan: $2.5 billion
  6. Pakistan: $2.2 billion
  7. Bangladesh: $1.5 billion
  8. Spain: $1.5 billion
  9. Egypt: $1 billion
  10. Taiwan: $962.4 million

Among Indonesia’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Indonesian surpluses with India (up 39%), Spain (up 38.4%) and Egypt (up 32%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Indonesia’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Indonesia to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Indonesian Trading Partners

Nine Indonesian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Indonesian conglomerates that Forbes included:

  • Gudang Garam (Tobacco)
  • Semen Indonesia (Construction Materials)
  • Telekom Indonesia (Telecommunications services)

Wikipedia also lists exporters from Indonesia. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Astra International (financial/industrial conglomerate)
  • Bumi Resources (coal)
  • Djarum (tobacco cigarettes)
  • Dragon Computer & Communication (computer hardware)
  • Krakatau Steel (steel products)
  • MedcoEnergi (oil, gas)
  • Pertamina (oil, natural gas)
  • United Tractors (heavy equipment)


 
See also Indonesia’s Top 10 Exports, Indonesia’s Top 10 Imports, Top Asian Export Countries and Coal Exports by Country

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 22, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on April 22, 2018

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on April 22, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 22, 2018

Alibaba, Sourcing Buyers. Accessed on April 22, 2018