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Diving into Indonesia's E-commerce Export Potential Part 3

Written by
Benedict Leong
Published on
May 9, 2019
Updated on
June 20, 2023

This is part 3 of our Indonesia eCommerce Export Potential Series which covers Indonesia’s government’s efforts to help local e-commerce exports.

Part 1 covers Indonesia’s fashion and processed food e-commerce export potential

Part 2 covers Indonesia’s cosmetics e-commerce export potential

Government-Planned Support and Initiatives

Indonesia’s government has highlighted e-commerce as a way to help boost its national exports while boosting national economic growth. According to a report by Redwing Asia1, e-commerce contributed only 1.6% of Indonesia’s GDP in 2015 but has the potential to contribute US$ 657 billion dollars to Indonesia’s economy by 2030, with an average growth of 25 per cent in the next 17 years.

To help the local Indonesian businesses sell more overseas, the Indonesian government is planning a quite a few initiatives:

Indonesia eCommerce Roadmap

In 2017, Indonesia released Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 74 2017 aimed at boosting the local e-commerce scene’s growth. As of the time of this writing, the plan is being revised to help boost the export potential of local Indonesian e-commerce companies.

The original Perpres Number 74 20172 contained the following provisions:

  • Funding - microcredit programmes for MSMEs, startup mentorships, and more.
  • Taxation - lower tax rates for local startup investors.
  • Consumer protection - The government will regulate electronic transactions in order to allow for transactions and government spending through e-commerce and develop a national payment gateway (which will be under the supervision of Bank Indonesia).
  • Education and human resources - The government will start a national e-commerce awareness campaign along with a national incubation programme, and e-commerce education programme for all stakeholders.
  • Logistics - e-commerce players will be allowed to leverage on national logistics system (Sislognas). Local and national courier companies to be strengthened and logistics routes from rural areas to cities are to be developed
  • Communications - Further develop communications infrastructure via national broadband development
  • Cybersecurity - To set up a national surveillance and e-commerce monitoring system, educate the Indonesian public on cyber threats, standardise data collection.
  • Management - Form an operating management structure to manage, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the e-commerce roadmap.

While the above was aimed at boosting the local e-commerce scene, particularly in areas such as regulating payments and developing a national payment gateway, the Indonesian government decided to add revisions to help out exports of local Indonesian e-commerce products. The updated version of Perpres Number 74 2017 contains the following revisions3:

  • Data protection
  • Cross-border protection
  • Cross border transactions
  • Digital goods and services
  • Strengthening the competitiveness of local products and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

This displays the Indonesian government’s commitment to improving e-commerce exports in the country, with some of Indonesia’s ministries actively working with tech companies to make their roadmap a reality.

However, as of the time of this writing, the revised plan will only be released after the WTO4 releases its own rules regarding e-commerce as the plan currently conflicts with a recent WTO ruling. The plan is being looked into again with the WTO regulations as a foundation.

Building Industry 4.0 Capabilities for SMEs

Indonesia has also been looking to modernise its local economy via its ‘Making Indonesia 4.0’5 plan. This is part of Indonesia’s plan to prepare the country for the shift to Industry 4.0, which requires the development and integration of connectivity, technology, information and communication. If all goes well, Indonesia’s government is hoping this can improve Indonesia’s economy by six to seven percent a year from 2018 to 2030.

This roadmap prioritises five sectors for development and hopes to see them boost the country’s future exports, two of which are discussed in this series. These five sectors include the following:

  • Food and Drinks
  • Automotive
  • Textiles
  • Electronics
  • Chemicals

Indonesia’s Making Indonesia 4.0 roadmap includes ten cross-sectoral national initiatives6:

  1. Improve the flow of goods and materials - reduce Indonesia’s reliance on imported materials
  2. Develop a roadmap for comprehensive and cross-sectoral industrial zones
  3. Improve sustainability standards
  4. Empower the small and medium-sized entrepreneurs
  5. Build national, digital infrastructure
  6. Attract foreign investment
  7. Boost the quality of local human resources
  8. Boost the development of ecosystem innovation
  9. Design incentives for investment in technology
  10. Harmonize regulations and policies

Other Initiatives to Help E-commerce Exports


As part of Indonesia’s Industry 4.0 roadmap, Indonesia is aiming to educate SME’s so that they increase their involvement in e-commerce.

This program is called ‘Program e-Smart IKM’7, with IKM standing for ‘Industri Kecil Menengah’ (Small to medium industry). The goal of this program is to help 10,000 SMEs adopt digital technology.

The government’s role in this is to organise the training and education sessions while industry experts take the lead in educating the SME participants. Here, participants can learn how they can bring their businesses online and also how they can use online platforms, such as marketplaces, to list and sell their products overseas.

Some of the industry experts the government is working with include:

  • Tokopedia
  • Bukalapak
  • Lazada
  • Blibli
  • Google
  • Ralali
  • Shopee
  • iDeA (Indonesian e-commerce association)
  • And more

So far, the Indonesian government has acknowledged Shopee’s efforts in educating selected MSMEs through the Shopee campus8 with also features a special export curriculum. Google has also committed to training9 100,000 Indonesian mobile developers by 2020 who will be able to help bring more  Indonesians online and also cater to rising global smartphone penetration.

Improving SMEs labelling and packaging

The Indonesian government is looking to improve the quality and presentation of local SME products and help the economy to shift its focus away from commodities. Part of their plan to achieve this is by aiming to improve local SMEs’ labelling and packaging, which can greatly help its packaged food businesses.

Part of the e-Smart educational workshops provided to local SMEs includes package design sessions. Through this program, e-Smart SME participants will be provided with package design help10 by the Klinik Desain Kemasan dan Merek Ditjen IKM (Packaging and Brand Design Clinic of the Directorate General of SMEs) to increase the quality and standards of packaging designs.

In addition to this, the Ministry of Industry has facilitated the construction of 24 packaging houses spread across 22 provinces under the management of the regional government. This packaging revamp programme is also seeing usage of QR codes and barcodes to help bring SMEs onboard a more up-to-date payment process.

The inclusion of barcodes and QR codes on SME-manufactured items means is that manufacturers and SMEs will now have an easier time controlling stock, production dates and expiration among other data, which is especially helpful for local packaged food products. These standards also help SME products get sold more easily on both offline retail markets and online channels.

Bringing Broadband to More Places

In an effort to bring internet connectivity to more parts of Indonesia, the Indonesian government has plans to improve the country’s internet infrastructure.11 By bringing faster and more reliable connectivity to more parts of the country, more SMEs would have access to e-commerce and tech-enabled solutions.

Currently, the government plans to lay more fibre optic cables to connect Indonesia’s main islands to the internet by the end of 2019. A high-throughput satellite has been planned to be ready by early 2022.

Indonesia’s fashion, packaged food, and personal care industries show great potential to do well in terms of e-commerce exports. Products from each of these industries have already found demand overseas, and the international coverage from selling these on international e-commerce platforms is undeniable. With the help of initiatives from the Indonesian government and e-commerce players like international logistics partners, Indonesia’s e-commerce exports definitely have a lot of potential to grow in the coming years.

Looking to ship throughout Southeast Asia? Contact us to find out how.

Interested in e-commerce in Indonesia? Find out more about Indonesian e-commerce with our latest e-book!:

2020 Guide to Entering Indonesia's E-commerce Market

More articles on Indonesia's e-commerce:

Diving into Indonesia's E-commerce Export Potential Part 1: Textile Products and Packaged Food

Diving into Indonesia's E-commerce Export Potential Part 2: Cosmetics

How to Ship to Indonesia

What's Driving E-commerce in Indonesia?

Who are Indonesia's Online Shoppers?

Top 4 Product Categories

Indonesia's Biggest E-commerce Sales

  1. Digital News Asia: In 2020, Indonesia's E-Commerce Transactions Reached US $130 Billion
  2. Inc 42: Indonesia All Set For The Digital Push, Govt. Issues Much Awaited Ecommerce Roadmap
  3. PP E-Commerce and 3 Digital Economic Policies Will Be Released This Year
  4. CNBC Indonesia: Stopped, Online Store Rules Wait for WTO Policy?
  5. Invest Indonesia: Making Indonesia 4.0 Plan
  6. Indonesia Cross-Sectoral National initiatives
  7. Ministry of Industry Holds E-Smart IKM Program
  8. The Minister of Communication and Information: e-Commerce Platform Increases Export Potential
  9. Tech In Asia: Google to help train 100k Indonesian developers after Jokowi’s Silicon Valley Visit
  10. Republika: IKM Suggested To Improve Product Quality
  11. Tech In Asia: Indonesia’s digital economy will thrive as small businesses come online, says gov’t