5 Most Profitable Industries To Invest In Indonesia in 2024

Indonesia’s growing economy sprouts numerous business opportunities for regional and international investors around the globe. Indonesia is often regarded as one of the most favourable business locations in Asia due to its abundance of natural resources, a dynamic and technically-trained workforce and a large and growing domestic and regional markets. What makes it even more impressive is that the nation has seen strong GDP growth in the past years despite the global downturn caused by the pandemic.  Looking to invest in Indonesia? Read on to find out more about Indonesia’s growing economy and the top 5 most financially rewarding industries you should consider in 2024.

Indonesia’s Growing Economy 

As the largest Southeast Asian economy and the 16th largest economy in the world[1], it boasts an impressive GDP of more than US$ 1 trillion[1]. According to Reuters, Indonesia’s market exports could rise to top US$300 billion by 2024[2], as the Indonesia government implements business-friendly measures to encourage domestic and foreign investment in Indonesia’s local downstream industries. Apart from a sound commitment to economic reform from the government, Indonesia’s growing economy is supercharged by a growing population, an increasingly educated and young workforce, abundant natural resources, and a strategic location in Southeast Asia. Data from the end of 2023 showed that 68.1% of Indonesia’s population lies between 15-64 [3], which offers a massive workforce for businesses of all sizes and natures. With multiple special economic zones (SEZs) and its membership and involvement in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesia’s growing economy is predicted to continue in 2024.

Top 5 Industries To Invest In Indonesia

1. eCommerce

A pre-pandemic trend which has boomed even further post-pandemic is online shopping in Indonesia. According to Statista, the gross merchandise value (GMV) of the eCommerce marketplace in Indonesia is predicted to reach around US$160 billion by 2030, and the number of eCommerce users in Indonesia would reach 131 million[4]. The cherry on top? GlobalData explains that eCommerce payments in Indonesia are expected to increase 22% per year between 2021-2025 and will reach US$53.8 billion by 2025[5]. Indonesia eCommerce users love using TikTok as the platform for social commerce, and they are highly attracted to sales or promotions on social media. A report by Statista released in 2023 revealed that around 70% of respondents purchased clothes and footwear online[6]. With increasing internet penetration and smartphone adoption, as well as growing disposable income among the young and tech-savvy population, eCommerce is definitely one of the most lucrative industries to invest in in Indonesia.

2. Travel and Tourism

Travel and tourism is another booming and robust industry to invest in Indonesia as the country’s economic growth continues. The World Travel & Tourism Council’s latest Economic Impact (EIR) explains that Indonesia’s tourism and travel sector is expected to bring around more than 5 million jobs between 2023-2033[7]. The tourism and travel industry is expected to grow in the Indonesian market at an average annual rate of 10% over the next 10 years – making it a great time to enter the industry. In a report by PWC, it is explained that the tourism industry plays a strong role in Indonesia’s growing economy, contributing almost 5% of its overall GDP[8].

Popular with tourists is Bali, a city which has topped TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice for top 25 popular destinations multiple times.  Per data from Trading Economics, the number of foreign tourist arrivals increased by 30% YOY to 917.4 thousand in November 2023[9]

Indonesia is made of 17,700 different islands, each offering an atmosphere of its own, making it a top spot for foreigners to travel to. 

3. Infrastructure and Construction

Many emerging markets face challenges with infrastructure updates and the the Indonesia market is no exception. With the continuous economic growth projection in Indonesia, the Indonesian government has raised several notices about the importance of having better infrastructure in the country, opening a road for investors looking to get involved in the development. Better infrastructure brings about faster country development and better opportunities. The Indonesian government will be investing more than US$400 billion in the country’s infrastructure between 2020 and 2024[10]. The government is increasingly relying on public-private partnerships (PPPs) to finance and implement infrastructure projects. This is seen as a way to attract private sector expertise and global investment in Indonesia, which can help accelerate the country’s infrastructure development[11].

4. Mining

Indonesia is a frontline player within the global mining industry, well-known for its production of coal, gold, tin, copper, and nickel – to name a few. Indonesia’s mining sector is going towards the direction of becoming one of the leading sectors in the country. To support further growth in the Indonesian mining market, the Indonesian government has implemented several actions to boost the sector and Indonesia’s growing economy, including:

  • Banning exports of raw materials
  • Increasing the value of mining products

This aims to bring around more job opportunities and increase profit margins for mining commodities.

5. Aviation

Indonesia ranks as the world’s second-fastest-growing aviation industry after China in terms of aircraft orders business value. Being an archipelago comprised of 17,000 islands, air travel is essential for the movement of people and goods across the country[12]. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that Indonesia is set to be the world’s 6th largest market for air transport in 2034[13].

With this insatiable demand for air travel needs, the country opens its arms to foreign aviation investment in Indonesia to help build infrastructures that can follow the rapid development of aviation to meet Indonesia’s market needs. 

Indonesian airports currently see an increasing growth in air traffic, and the development of new airports closest to tourist destinations and refurbishment of existing airports is crucial. As mentioned by the International Trade Administration, other areas of growth within the industry include improvements to ground infrastructure, runway, and air traffic systems.

Looking to invest in Indonesia?

Familiarising yourself with local labour laws is where you’ll need to begin – but this can be tricky if you’re completely new to the Indonesian business scene. In Q1 of 2023 itself, Indonesia is set to introduce a range of new laws, including the increase of minimum wage for 28 provinces starting in 2023 and issuing a regulation to revoke and replace the job creation law.

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[1]Source: Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Vancouver, Canada

[2]Source: Reuters “Indonesia exports could hit $300 bln by 2024, spurred by resource ‘downstreaming'”

[3]Source: Knoema – World Data Atlas – Indonesia – Demographics

[4] Source: Statista – “Annual gross merchandise volume (GMV) of the e-commerce market in Indonesia from 2019 to 2023 with a forecast for 2030

[5]Source: GlobalData- Data & Insights & Macro-economic “Indonesia: Macroeconomic Country Outlook”

[6]Source: Statista: Most popular items purchased online among consumers in Indonesia as of January 2023

[7]Source: World Travel & Tourism Council – “More than five million new Travel & Tourism jobs to be created in Indonesia within the next decade”

[8]Source: PWC Tourism’s contribution to Indonesia’s GDP can grow higher

[9]Source: Trading Economics: Indonesia Tourist Arrivals – Summary

[10] Source: KPMG – Indonesia’s bold infrastructure plan

[11]Source: Ministry of National Development Planning, Republic of Indonesia – Public Private Partnership – Infrastructure Projects Plan in Indonesia 2023 – p.4 

[12]Source: Privacy Shield Framework – Indonesia  Country Commercial Guide – Indonesia: Aviation

[13]Source: Statista: Aviation Industry in Indonesia – Statistics and Facts