Market Insights: Indonesia

Overview of Indonesia’s Economy

Indonesia, an archipelago of over 17,000 islands, has a rich history of transformation. From its ancient roots as a maritime and agrarian society, it has emerged as a dynamic global player. Today, Indonesia combines its traditional heritage with modern opportunities. It has seen remarkable economic growth, transitioning from agriculture to international commerce. While facing unique challenges like rapid urbanization and environmental issues, Indonesia offers tremendous potential for innovation and investment. In this article, we’ll explore Indonesia’s journey—a blend of tradition and progress, resilience, and promise.

GDP Growth

Indonesia’s economic landscape has seen remarkable transformations over the past two decades. In 2022, the country reported a GDP of $1.32 trillion1 and a per capita income of $4,7882, reflecting a robust growth rate of 5.3%3. This represents a substantial increase from the year 2000 when Indonesia’s GDP was at $165.02 billion1, and per capita income stood at $7712. This consistent positive growth trend underscores Indonesia’s emergence as a key player in the Southeast Asian economy.

Year GDP Per Capita Growth
2022 $1.32T $4,788 5.3%
2021 $1.19T $4,334 3.7%
2020 $1.06T $3,896 -2.1%
2019 $1.12T $4,151 5%
2018 $1.04T $3,903 5.2%
2017 $1.02T $3,840 5.1%
2016 $931.88B $3,559 5%
2015 $860.85B $3,323 4.9%
2014 $890.81B $3,477 5%
2013 $912.52B $3,603 5.6%
2012 $917.87B $3,668 6%
2011 $892.97B $3,614 6.2%
2010 $755.09B $3,094 6.2%
2009 $539.58B $2,239 4.6%
2008 $510.23B $2,144 6%
2007 $432.22B $1,840 6.3%
2006 $364.57B $1,573 5.5%
2005 $285.87B $1,249 5.7%
2004 $256.84B $1,137 5%
2003 $234.77B $1,052 4.8%
2002 $195.66B $889 4.5%
2001 $160.45B $739 3.6%
2000 $165.02B $771 4.9%

This impressive economic growth can be attributed to several factors. Indonesia has capitalized on its growing population, domestic consumption, foreign investment, and an expanding middle class. Even during the challenging year of 2020, Indonesia managed to maintain a positive growth rate of 2.1%3, showcasing its resilience and adaptability in the face of global economic uncertainties.

Nevertheless, Indonesia faces its share of economic challenges. Income inequality remains a concern, and there is a need for further investment in infrastructure, education, and business development to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth. As Indonesia navigates the ever-evolving global economic landscape, agility and innovation will be crucial for the country to sustain its upward trajectory and solidify its position as a significant regional economic powerhouse.

Foreign Direct Investments

Indonesia’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has displayed significant fluctuations in recent years, shedding light on the country’s appeal to foreign investors and the evolving global investment landscape. In 2022, Indonesia’s FDI amounted to $21.65 billion, showing a modest 2.07% increase from the previous year’s figure of $21.21 billion.4 In 2021, Indonesia witnessed a notable surge in FDI, reaching $21.21 billion, signifying a substantial 10.63% increase compared to 2020 when it stood at $19.18 billion.4 In 2020, Indonesia’s FDI declined to $19.18 billion, reflecting a significant drop of 23.28% from the 2019 level, which was $24.99 billion.4 In 2019, Indonesia’s FDI soared to $24.99 billion, marking an impressive 32.17% increase compared to 2018, when it was $18.94 billion.4

These fluctuations in FDI underscore the dynamic nature of Indonesia’s investment climate. While there was a decline in 2020, the substantial growth in 2021 and the modest increase in 2022 highlight Indonesia’s enduring attractiveness to foreign investors. These figures highlight the necessity of adaptability and strategic planning for businesses and policymakers as they navigate the evolving global investment landscape.

Growing Markets & Markets with High Growth Potential

Indonesia’s dynamic economic landscape presents several sectors with promising growth opportunities:

Electric Vehicle Batteries and EVs5: Indonesia is rapidly becoming a global EV hub, attracting investments from major players like Tesla and BYD. The country aims to be a top-three EV battery producer by 2027, focusing on nickel-based batteries, lithium refineries, and anode material production.

Coal5: As the world’s third-largest coal exporter, Indonesia plays a crucial role in the global energy market. Despite export bans in early 2022, coal exports remain a vital part of the economy, with a target of 518 million tons in exports for 2023.

Infrastructure Development5: Indonesia’s ambitious infrastructure plans have already seen substantial progress, with $25 billion allocated in the 2023 national budget. Investments in transportation networks, ports, airports, and other vital infrastructure are driving economic growth. Public-private partnerships (PPP) are actively encouraged.

Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals5: The healthcare sector is thriving with the government’s significant spending on universal healthcare, covering 240 million people. This expansion positively impacts the medical devices industry and boosts generic drug sales, focusing on imported high-tech medical instruments.

Tourism5: Despite pandemic challenges, Indonesia aims to attract up to 7.4 million tourists in 2023, generating $5 billion in revenue. The tourism sector is rebounding with relaxed COVID policies and increased domestic travel.

Investment Realization6: Indonesia recorded robust investment realization, both foreign and domestic, with a YoY growth of 16.5% in Q1 2023. In terms of sectors, Transportation and Storage exhibited the highest growth at 15.93% YoY, closely followed by the Accommodation and Food & Beverages sector at 11.55% YoY.

These diverse sectors, coupled with a strong investment climate, offer promising opportunities for businesses and investors in Indonesia. The country’s resilience and adaptability in the face of evolving global dynamics make it an attractive destination for investment and growth.

Indonesia’s Demographics

Indonesia, with a population of 278 million people7, is a nation celebrated for its remarkable ethnic diversity. Among the prominent ethnic groups, the Javanese stand out as the largest, constituting approximately 40.1% of the population, totaling more than 80 million individuals.8 This ethnic diversity adds depth and vibrancy to the country’s cultural tapestry.

In terms of age, Indonesia boasts a youthful median age of 29.9 years9, a factor that holds promise for its future economic growth, often referred to as the demographic dividend. The country maintains a moderate fertility rate of 2.1 live births per woman9, indicative of a relatively stable birth rate. Simultaneously, life expectancy in Indonesia stands at an average of 71.1 years9, suggesting an overall improvement in health and well-being.

Indonesia is also experiencing a significant trend toward urbanization, with approximately 59.1%9 of its population residing in urban areas. This urban shift aligns with broader global urbanization patterns and poses both opportunities and challenges for the nation.

Gender distribution in Indonesia is relatively balanced, with almost equal numbers of males and females.10 This equilibrium has remained stable over the past decade10, contributing to the nation’s social dynamics.

Economically, Indonesia has seen steady growth, with a national income per capita of around 52.19 million Indonesian rupiahs in 2022, reflecting an upward trajectory compared to the previous year.11 This economic progress is intertwined with the evolving demographic landscape, making Indonesia a dynamic and diverse country poised for the future.

Indonesian Consumers and Consumer Trends

Understanding the evolving preferences and behaviors of Indonesian consumers is crucial for businesses looking to thrive in the Indonesian market. In 2023, several key trends are shaping consumer choices and expectations. By aligning their strategies accordingly, businesses can better meet the needs of Indonesian consumers. Here’s a continuous overview of these trends:

Brand Engagement and Trust

Indonesian consumers are increasingly enthusiastic about engaging with brands and establishing trust. A significant 44% of respondents actively interact with brands, while 78% engage with brands to influence product innovation.12 Impressively, 77% of Indonesian consumers only buy from brands they trust completely.12 Building brand trust is essential in Indonesia. Brands should prioritize transparency, quality, and ethical practices to earn consumer trust. Actively engaging with consumers through social media and gathering their feedback can foster brand loyalty.Invest in customer relationship management (CRM) systems to personalize interactions. Develop products based on consumer feedback to show responsiveness to their needs.

Price-Conscious Consumers 

Rising inflationary pressures have made Indonesian consumers more price-conscious. Only 23% of respondents intend to increase their overall spending over the next year, with 57% focusing on saving more.12 Price sensitivity is a significant factor in purchasing decisions. Businesses should focus on offering competitive pricing, value-added services, and loyalty programs to appeal to cost-conscious consumers. Implement dynamic pricing strategies and discounts for bulk purchases. Highlight cost savings and value for money in marketing campaigns.

Work-Life Balance and Wellbeing 

Balancing work and personal life is a priority for Indonesian consumers. A quarter of respondents feel constant pressure to get things done, motivating 73% to set strict boundaries between work or school life and their personal life.12 Additionally, consumers prioritize personal time, with 39% citing it among their top three priorities, and 66% regularly spending time on hobbies.12 Businesses can support work-life balance goals by providing flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, and products that enhance relaxation and hobbies. Offer flexible work options, promote wellness products, and create marketing campaigns that emphasize relaxation and personal time.

Health and Sustainability 

Health and sustainability concerns are on the rise. Consumers in Indonesia are increasingly interested in healthy ingredients, with 52% closely reading nutrition labels.12 Furthermore, 41% prefer to buy environmentally conscious or eco-friendly food.12 The focus on health and sustainability is growing. Businesses should consider offering healthier and sustainable product options, emphasizing eco-friendly practices in manufacturing, and clearly labeling nutritional information. Launch sustainable product lines, promote eco-friendly packaging, and educate consumers about the health benefits of your products.

Home Exercise and Minimalism

Home-based exercise is popular, with 65% of females and 72% of males exercising at home weekly.12 Additionally, minimalistic home designs are favored by all cohorts, and 48% expect to work from home in the future.12 Businesses can cater to these trends by offering home workout equipment and minimalist product designs. Business Strategy: Collaborate with fitness trainers or apps for virtual workouts. Design products with minimalist aesthetics and functionality.

Social Media Influence 

Social media plays a significant role in consumer decisions, with 39% of respondents making purchasing choices based on their social media network.12 Businesses should maintain a strong online presence, engage with consumers on social platforms, and encourage user-generated content and reviews. Invest in social media marketing, influencer collaborations, and user-generated content campaigns.

Remote Work Expectations 

The modern workforce in Indonesia is expressing new expectations, with 42% expecting to work from home in the future.12 Companies should adapt by offering flexible work arrangements and providing the necessary digital tools and support. Develop remote work policies and provide employees with the technology and training required for remote productivity.

Cost-Saving Strategies 

With rising prices, consumers are adopting cost-saving behaviors, including bargain hunting (52%) and increasing visits to discount stores (31%).13 Businesses can respond by offering discounts, loyalty programs, and cost-effective alternatives. Provide discounts for repeat customers, and emphasize the value proposition of your products.

Fun and Pleasure 

Despite economic challenges, Indonesian consumers seek moments of pleasure. Food and drink are sources of indulgence and comfort.15 Consumers desire moments of enjoyment and indulgence. Businesses should position their products as sources of pleasure and fun. Develop marketing campaigns that highlight the joy and fun aspects of your products. Create limited-time offers or special editions to encourage purchase.


Indonesian consumers are increasingly turning to e-commerce. Top online shopping categories include fashion (70.13%), beauty and personal care products (49.73%), and F&B (40.80%).14 Businesses should have a robust online presence, user-friendly websites, and efficient delivery systems. Invest in e-commerce platforms, optimize websites for mobile devices, and provide multiple payment options to enhance the online shopping experience.

Sustainable Choices in Shopping

Sustainability is becoming a driving force in shopping decisions. Consumers are willing to pay more for environmentally conscious or ethically produced products, including home care products (52%) and apparel and footwear (27%).14 Businesses should focus on eco-friendly products, transparent sourcing, and ethical practices. Source sustainable materials, reduce waste in manufacturing, and communicate your commitment to eco-conscious practices to consumers.

This comprehensive overview of consumer trends in Indonesia provides valuable insights for businesses and market researchers. By understanding these evolving consumer preferences and behaviors and aligning their strategies accordingly, businesses can better meet the needs of Indonesian consumers in 2023 and beyond.

Key Takeaways

  1. Indonesia’s economy has grown significantly, with a 5.3% GDP growth rate in 2022, driven by a growing population, domestic consumption, foreign investment, and a burgeoning middle class.
  2. FDI in Indonesia fluctuates but remains attractive to foreign investors. In 2022, FDI increased by 2.07%, highlighting the importance of adaptability and strategic planning.
  3. Indonesia offers growth opportunities in sectors like Electric Vehicle Batteries, Coal, Infrastructure, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Tourism, making it an appealing destination for businesses.
  4. Indonesia’s diverse demographics include urbanization, gender balance, income disparities, and an aging population, shaping its future.
  5. In 2023, Indonesian consumers prioritize brand trust, price-consciousness, work-life balance, health, sustainability, home-based exercise, social media influence, remote work, cost-saving, pleasure-seeking, and sustainable shopping. High-income consumers favor quality and innovation.
  6. Indonesia’s luxury market thrives, driven by culture and digital platforms. E-commerce dominates, with a growing online shopper base and metaverse interest, emphasizing product quality and innovation.

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12Euromonitor: Consumer Lifestyles in Indonesia June 2023 –