UK and Indonesia pledge to grow trade ties

Today, Thursday 20 July, the UK and Indonesia have held the second Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) to help grow trade between the two countries – already worth £3.5 billion a year.

With a population of 275 million, Indonesia is the largest South East Asian nation and economy and presents huge opportunities for UK businesses. Its rapidly growing economy is forecast to reach the world’s top ten by 2035 and be its seventh largest by 2050. The JETCO was launched in 2022 to help promote and develop trade.

At today’s meeting, Minister for International Trade Nigel Huddleston and Indonesia’s Vice Minister of Trade Dr Jerry Sambuaga agreed to establish a working group on the digital economy and develop renewable energy opportunities – two areas of key interest for UK businesses.

International Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

Indonesia has an incredibly exciting economy. We’re ready to deepen our trade ties with this growing economic powerhouse by opening exciting new opportunities for UK businesses selling to Indonesia.

We are playing to our strengths, focusing our attention on areas of mutual benefit like digital trade. Making trade easier in these areas will provide a boon to our world-leading services industries.

The UK is the second largest exporter of services in the world and the majority of these were delivered by digital means. Easing digital trade could unleash growth in UK services exports, already worth £658 million to Indonesia last year.

In discussions today, Minister Huddleston also highlighted opportunities for increased collaboration in areas such as food and drink, agriculture, education services, Indonesia’s energy transition, legal services, and fintech.

The UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC) provides awareness on the latest opportunities in the region and facilitates trade and investment content delivery for UK companies looking to expand their operations into markets across Southeast Asia.

The Rt Hon the Lord Vaizey of Didcot, Chair of the UK-ASEAN Business Council, said:

Indonesia’s increasingly tech-savvy population and a growing middle class make it an incredibly attractive market for UK businesses. The UK-ASEAN Business Council is committed to supporting the growth of the UK-Indonesia trading relationship, by working with both governments to promote the tremendous number of trade and investment opportunities it has to offer.

Annual bilateral trade between the UK and Indonesia is growing, with trade up 33% in current prices in 2022 on the previous year. By working together to address barriers to trade we have the potential to increase trade, grow both economies, and give UK businesses better access to a significant and thriving market.

Paul Dyson, CEO Crossrail International (CI) said:

This JETCO is testament to the close bond between the UK and Indonesia. Indeed, Crossrail International have a strong trading relationship with Indonesia and are proud to be offering advice and providing support to their Ministry of Transport on two nationally significant rail projects – Jabodebek LRT and HSR Bandung to Jakarta.


The JETCO was first launched in 2022 to boost trade and investment and remove obstacles affecting UK businesses trading with Indonesia.

The first UK-Indonesia JETCO established working groups on renewable energy and clean growth and on agriculture, food, and drink.

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