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 30 June 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 focussing 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 Matthias Fekl visited Jakarta in April 2016 together with a business delegation. The French Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development also met with his counterpart in Paris last July.


  • October 2016: meeting between the Secretary of State for European Affairs and the Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs on the sidelines of the EU/ASEAN Meeting in Bangkok.
  • July 2016: meeting between the French and Indonesian foreign ministers in Paris
  • April 2016: visit to Jakarta by Mr Matthias 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 Mr Michel Sapin, 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 Mr Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
  • June 2013: visit to Jakarta by Ms Nicole Bricq, Minister for Foreign Trade
  • November 2012: meeting between French and Indonesian Presidents on the sidelines of the ASEM summit in Vientiane
  • January and November 2011: meetings between French and Indonesian Presidents in Davos and then Cannes (G20 Summit)
  • July 2011: French Prime Minister François Fillon visits Jakarta to conclude a strategic partnership
  • February 2011: Minister of the Economy, Industry and Employment, Ms Lagarde, visits Jakarta
  • October 2010: meeting between Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and his Indonesian counterpart, Mr Marty Natalegwa, on the sidelines of the ASEM summit
  • December 2009: visit to Paris by President Yudhoyono

Economic relations

France’s trade with Indonesia (with a 0.9% market share in 2015) has been developing positively since 2013 and amounted to €3.9 billion in 2016, with a trade surplus for France in the region of €814 million for the third consecutive year (€410 million in 2015). French exports to Indonesia (€2.4 billion) are largely dominated by the transport equipment sector (€1.65 billion) accounting for 70% of total exports. Other industrial products (including cosmetics and perfumes) account for 11% of our exports (€293 million), followed by sales of mechanical, electronic and computer equipment (€258 million). Our imports total €1.55 billion and the textile sector makes up 34% of our purchases (€521 million), followed by mechanical, electronic and computer equipment (€455 million).

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 €2.5 billion in 2015 (third-largest European investor) and is focused on extractive industries and services.

Indonesia was the 36th-largest buyer of French exports in 2015 (43rd in 2014) and is France’s 41st-largest supplier (46th in 2014). Indonesia is our 57th-biggest trading partner and our 18th-biggest trade surplus.
See also website of the Directorate General of the Treasury

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 €1 billion, 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). The AFD also helps to support logistics reforms in maritime and port industries (sovereign loan of €150 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 France: 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 7,500 in the network (French Institute of Indonesia and Alliances françaises).

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

  • the lycée international français in Jakarta (548 students), approved by the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE),
  • the école internationale française in Bali (311 pupils), a partner of the AEFE.

Academic and scientific cooperation

France ranks 12th in the world in terms of the number of Indonesian students it hosts, with nearly 1,000 students hosted in 2015-2016.

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 €300,000 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: 17 February 2017