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France and Indonesia

Political relations

For France, Indonesia is one of the driving forces in the ASEAN and regional diplomacy. “France and Indonesia share a common vision of international society and are both committed to democratic values, human rights and tolerance. They also have a common aspiration for a more equitable, transparent and democratic international order, and for a stronger multilateral system in a culturally diversified world where the rule of law prevails” (excerpt from the preamble of the strategic partnership).

A strategic partnership was concluded during the visit of Prime Minister François Fillon, on 30June and 1 July 2011. It follows the political declaration issued on the occasion of President Yudhoyono’s visit to France on 14 December 2009 and focuses on consolidating bilateral cooperation on political and security issues, the economy, development, education and culture, and increased exchanges between civil societies. Four agreements were also signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to Jakarta. They focus on cooperation in the fields of energy and mineral resources, museums, higher education and tourism.

Bilateral strategic dialogue was launched during the visit to Jakarta by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs in August 2013 and continued during the visit to Paris by the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Marty Natalegawa, on 25 January 2014. The French President met with his Indonesian counterpart, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Brisbane in November 2014. The French Foreign Minister met with his counterpart in September and December 2015, and in July 2016. Mr MatthiasFekl visited Jakarta in April 2016 together with a business delegation.


  • July 2016: Meeting between the French and Indonesian foreign ministers in Paris April 2016: visit to Jakarta by MrMatthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad. December 2015: Meeting between the French and Indonesian Ministers of Foreign Affairs in New York and on the sidelines of COP21 in Le Bourget
  • September 2015: Meeting between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France and Indonesia in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
  • January 2015: Visit to Jakarta by MrMichelSapin, Minister of Finance and Public Accounts
  • November 2014: Meeting between the French and Indonesian Presidents in Brisbane (G20 Summit)
  • January 2014: Visit to Paris by Marty Natalegawa, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • August 2013: Visit to Jakarta by Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs

Economic relations

Our trade with Indonesia (with a 0.9% market share in 2015) has been developing positively since 2013 and amounted to €3.9 billion in 2015, with a trade surplus for France in the region of €536.3 billion for the third consecutive year (€131 million in 2014 and €43 million in 2013). French exports to Indonesia (€2.2 billion) are largely dominated by the transport equipment sector accounting for 69% of total exports. Other industrial products (including cosmetics and perfumes) account for 11% of our exports (€252 million), followed by sales of mechanical, electronic and computer equipment (€227million) and the agri-food industry (€161million). Our imports total €1.7 billion and the textile sector makes up 30% of our purchases (€508million), followed by sales of mechanical, electronic and computer equipment (€473.6million or 28%).

The French economic presence in the country relies on a few large groups such as L’Oréal, Total, Alstom and Michelin. 170 French companies (including Danone, Carrefour and Accor) employ 40,000 people. Opportunities exist in particular in infrastructure and transport development, and in the field of armament. France’s investment stock amounted to €2.2billion in 2014 (third-largest European investor) and is focused on extractive industries and services.

Indonesia is the 43rd-largest buyer of French exports (37th in 2013) with 0.4% of total exports and its 46th-largest supplier (40th in 2012) with 0.3% of total imports. Indonesia ranks as France’s 47th-largest trading partner and its 53rd-largest trade surplus.

See also the website of the French Directorate-General of the Treasury

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Our cooperation aims to support Indonesia’s development as a newly-emerging country. It thus prioritizes research (rural development, aquaculture, volcanology, geophysics, archaeology), academic exchanges (mainly in the fields of technology and biological sciences), vocational training, support for strengthening the rule of law and democratic governance (legislative technical assistance, fighting terrorism and corruption, decentralization, training in human rights) and implementing quality cultural action (“Le Printemps français” cultural festival, audiovisual policy).

French Development Agency (AFD)

The AFD has been active in Indonesia since 2007, where it is working on climate and biodiversity projects. It has developed a project portfolio of about €1billion, in particular by financing a number of activities in the energy sector (upgrading the Java-Bali electricity distribution network for US$50 million, a power transmission project in West Kalimantan for US$50 million), strengthening the electricity transmission network in the Jakarta conurbation, transport (urban transport project in Bandung – €46 million), biodiversity and the sea (pilot project for eco-fishing ports for €90 million).

Cultural and linguistic cooperation

The cooperation network in Indonesia is based on the French Institute of Indonesia (IFI) in Jakarta (including a branch in Wijaya) and outside the capital in Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Dili (East Timor), as well as four Alliances Françaises in Medan, Denpasar, Semarang and Balikpapan.

The French language remains an important attractiveness factor for our region: 20% of incoming mobility from Indonesia is for language training in France. About 45,000 students are learning French in secondary schools (lycées), 6,000 in 12 universities and over 8,000 in the network (French Institute of Indonesia and Alliances françaises).

There are also three establishments accredited by the French Ministry of National Education:

  • the lycée international français in Jakarta (543 students), approved by the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE);
  • the école internationale française in Bali (282 pupils), a partner of the AEFE;
  • “Total” school in Balikpapan, affiliated to the Mission Laïque française (76 pupils).- Academic and scientific cooperation

France ranks 11th in the world in terms of the number of Indonesian students it hosts, with 787 students hosted in 2013-2014, a number which has trebled since 2008. Promotion of French higher education in Indonesia is based mainly on a scholarship programme with co-financing of €1.7 million by the Indonesian authorities, universities, companies and foundations, and based on the presence of information centres on academic studies in France (Warung Prancis) located in 26 universities which also offer French language courses and certification. In addition, there are over 120 agreements between Indonesian universities and French institutions, their number having increased sixfold since 2013.

In the field of research, an average of €310,000 is granted each year, representing about 20% of the Embassy’s cooperation budget. Scientific cooperation is based in particular on the existence in Indonesia of the Institute of Research for Development (IRD), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the French School of Asian Studies (EFEO). France and Indonesia have also developed joint mobility and training programmes to help build scientific networks between the two countries, along the lines of the Hubert Curien “Nusantara” Partnership and regional thematic programmes run by the French Foreign Ministry (MAEDI) on science and information and communication technology (STIC-Asie) and natural substances (BIO-Asie).

Updated: 30/08/2016