France and Indonesia

Bilateral relations

France sees Indonesia as a driver in the ASEAN and in regional diplomacy. A strategic partnership was concluded during Prime Minister François Fillon’s visit to Indonesia in 2011, focused on consolidating bilateral cooperation in the political and security, economic, development, education and cultural fields, as well as expanding exchanges between civil societies. The visit of the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, Mathias Fekl, to Jakarta in 2016 and that of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Jean-Marc Ayrault, in February 2017, helped prepare President Hollande’s visit to Indonesia in March 2017, the first visit by a French President since François Mitterrand in 1986. It led to the signing of some 30 agreements and the announcement of two partnerships: in the maritime field and in that of the creative and digital economy.

In 2017, France posted a trade deficit with Indonesia of €85 million, after producing a surplus between 2013 and 2016. French exports to Indonesia stood at 1.7 billion in 2017, while imports from the country were at €1.8 billion, a rise of 7.7% on 2016. French exports to Indonesia, at €1.7 billion, are largely dominated by the transport equipment sector (70%). Our economic relations are bolstered by the presence of more than 170 French companies, including major groups such as Total, L’Oréal, Alstom and Michelin, employing almost 40,000 people.

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD, French Development Agency) has been present in the country since 2007, developing a project portfolio of around €1 billion. It finances activities in areas including energy, transport, biodiversity and the sea.

France is the twelfth most-popular destination country for Indonesian students, with almost 1,000 students studying in France in 2015-2016. Our scientific cooperation draws on the presence in Indonesia of the Research Institute for Development (IRD), the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (CIRAD) and the French School of Asian Studies (EFEO). France and Indonesia have also developed joint mobility and training programmes, such as the “Nusantara” Hubert Curien Partnership.

The French community in the country has doubled in a decade. It is now estimated at 4,900 residents, mostly in Jakarta, Bali and Borneo.

Updated: 14 June 2018