France and Indonesia

Political relations

France considers Indonesia to be one of the driving forces in the ASEAN and regional diplomacy. A strategic partnership was concluded during the visit of Prime Minister François Fillon, on 30 June and 1 July 2011. It focuses on consolidating bilateral cooperation on political and security, economic, development, educational and cultural issues, and increased exchanges between civil societies. The President of the French Republic, Mr François Hollande, visited Jakarta on 29 March 2017, in the first official visit by a French Head of State to Indonesia since 1986. Two partnerships were signed on that occasion, on maritime cooperation and on the creative and digital economy.

Presidential and ministerial visits

  • 29 March 2017: State visit to Jakarta by Mr François Hollande, President of the French Republic
  • February 2017: Visit to Jakarta by Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
  • October 2016: meeting between the French Minister of State for European Affairs and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, in the margins of the EU-ASEAN meeting in Bangkok
  • July 2016: Meeting between the French and Indonesian Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Paris
  • 8 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 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)

Economic relations

Our trade with Indonesia (1% market share in 2016) has been growing since 2013 and amounted to €3.9 billion in 2016, with a trade surplus for France in the region of €814 billion for the third consecutive year (€410 million in 2015). French exports to Indonesia (€2.4 billion) are largely dominated by the transport equipment sector accounting for 70% of total exports. 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). Indonesia is our 57ᵗʰ-largest trading partner and our 18ᵗʰ-largest trade surplus.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Our cooperation focused on research, academic exchanges, vocational training, the rule of law and democratic governance, as well as the implementation of high-quality cultural activities (“Printemps Français” cultural festival).

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD, French Development Agency AFD) has been present since 2007 and has developed a project portfolio worth around €1 billion, funding activities in areas including energy, transport, biodiversity and the sea (eco-fishing ports pilot project worth €90 million). The AFD also provides support for logistical reforms in the maritime and ports sector (sovereign loan of €150 million).

Our 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 Française branches 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 7,500 in our teaching network (French Institute of Indonesia and Alliances françaises).

There are also three establishments accredited by our 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), an AEFE partner;

France ranks 12ᵗʰ in the world in terms of the number of Indonesian students it hosts, with almost 1,000 students hosted in 2015-2016. There are over 120 agreements between Indonesian universities and French institutions, their number having increased sixfold since 2013.

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, such as the Hubert Curien Programme “Nusantara”.

Updated: 23 June 2017