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Indonesia-France business forum, ‘advancing toward a sustainable future’

France Indonesia Forum Nice
Indonesian-France Business Forum © Philip Andrukhovich

Le Negresco Hotel Nice was the setting for the international business forum on Monday 10 June, organised by the Consultate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Marseille, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Paris. The main aim of the event was to encourage networking and information sharing, promoting business relationships and creating an interactive platform for both countries.

Indonesia, a young republic by international standards, has a strong vision for its development by 2045, which will be the year of its centennial. Launched by President Joko Widodo in 2019, it is known as “The Golden Indonesia 2045” (Visi Indonesia Emas 2045). The aim is for the country to become a “sovereign, advanced, fair, and prosperous nation”, in fact one of the world’s top four or five economies, by that date, with a new capital city named “Nusantara” a key part of the vision.


The first speaker at the event was Consul General Ms. Dian Kusumaningsih, followed by Ms. Christiane Amiel, Delegate for International Relations from Nice’s local authority. Indonesia’s Ambassador to France, Andorra, Monaco and UNESCO, Mohamad Oemar then took the floor, in the first visit to Nice of his tenure.

More potential for economic cooperation

He reminded participants that France and Indonesia first signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2011. “At that time, the volume of bilateral trade between Indonesia and France were around 1.5 billion USD. Last year the figure reached 2.5 billion USD.” While acknowledging the increase, he felt there is much potential to achieve higher volumes. Last year France was the 12th biggest foreign investor in Indonesia with 302.8 million USD, in around 1200 projects, but again, the Ambassador stressed the potential to grow that figure substantially, quoting Indonesia’s year on year growth (over 5.2% at present and projected to continue at 5.3 to 5.6% in 2025), in an economy that the total GDP is about 1.4 trillion USD today.

When it comes to Monaco and Indonesia, the Ambassador pointed out that there was an important increase in economic cooperation from 2022 to 2023. “Even though the volume is not as big as with France, bilateral trade is noticing a significant increase from 2 million to 5 million USD,” he said.

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Certain participants may have been surprised to learn about some of Indonesia’s resources. It is the world’s top producer of palm oil, for example, and the Ambassador said that “France has hundreds of industries who base their production on palm oil (food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc). We understand there are issues, questions about the sustainability aspect of palm oil. We have been discussing imports and exports for two decades now.” He suggested that if French consumers are not convinced about the sustainability of palm oil, then perhaps investment is required to find more sustainable production methods for a raw material that France needs.

“33% of the world’s nickel deposits are in Indonesia,” said the Ambassador, a vital raw material for electric vehicles. Despite “a lot of discussion and complaining about how Indonesia produces nickel,” he believes investment in production methods has contributed to making them more efficient, and therefore to the drop in the commodity’s price on global markets. He believes the model is sustainable since Indonesia has harnessed hydro power rather than coal-fired power plants.

france indonesia forum Nice (1)
Indonesian-France Business Forum © Philip Andrukhovich

The country is the world’s 10th producer of natural gas, and the 4th producer of coffee “that everyone loves in France, I believe,” the Ambassador quipped. It is the world’s second-largest producer of natural rubber and the second-largest supplier of fish, with one of the biggest marine areas in the world, as the archipelago spreads across the Indian and Pacific oceans. Third biggest cacao producer, second biggest tin producer… there were many impressive figures to underline Indonesia’s potential as a trading partner.

Indonesia, an essential member of ASEAN

As a bilateral trade agreement is, by definition, not a one-way street, the Ambassador also mentioned what Indonesia buys from France. “Last year we bought a satellite from Thales, which is helping us to have Internet access for our small islands in Indonesia. We are now discussing for a second satellite. We have signed a contract to buy 42 Rafale from France, which cost 8.2 billion USD. We have also signed a contract for buying two Scorpène submarines, which cost 6.7 billion USD. 30 helicopters for our Air Force, and a number of commercial Airbus for Indonesia’s airline Garuda. We need French competitive edge technologies in energy transition, in digital transformation, as well as also agriculture and marine industries, including palm oil, including fisheries,” said the Ambassador

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He reminded participants that Indonesia is part of ASEAN, a single market like the EU, but with a population of 690 million and a combined GDP of 3.8 trillion USD. He spoke of the resilience of the economy in comparison to other regions in the world, which is naturally promising for investment, and of the free trade agreements Indonesia has since with China, Japan and South Korea among others. An agreement with the EU is in negotation and would help reduce the cost of Indonesian imports through reduced tariffs.

Taking note of these points at the forum were French companies, entrepreneurs, Indonesian companies, banking representatives, small and medium businesses and stakeholders from both Indonesia and France.

Cooperation in sustainable development

His Excellency Mohamad Oemar stressed that France and Monaco have a lot to offer when it comes to sustainability and that Monaco is Indonesia’s partner when it comes to ocean protection. “Monaco just like France and especially Nice is a place where we want to learn how to development sustainable cities and sustainable tourism. Indonesia has a huge potential with its beautiful beaches, islands and waterfalls, but what we need is this expertise to develop this potential and become the world’s most attractive tourism destination,” said the Ambassador.

The Ambassador reminded that Indonesia increased the size of protected coastal and marine areas and it continues to cooperate with Monaco in protecting the coral reefs in the archipelago.

Florent-Serge Stora, Director of International and Mediterranean Relations of Metropole Nice Côte d’Azur, agreed with the Ambassador that Nice can be Indonesia’s parter when it comes to sustainable tourism adding that avenues for cooperations also include coastal area protection, the development of smart cities, the blue economy as well as wastewater treatement.

He also talked about the upcoming UN Ocean Conference 2025 taking place in Nice. There will be four events in total, including one event in Monaco focusing on financing the necessary sustainable transitions.

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Investment opportunities in Indonesia

The forum featured several other distinguished speakers, who provided valuable insights into Indonesia’s economic landscape and sustainable development initiatives, including the country’s macroeconomic situation, Indonesia’s financial strategies and international economic relations. A contribution on investment opportunities in Indonesia highlighted a number of sectors that are primed for growth and development.

The development of integrated industrial estates and their role in sustainable industrial growth was also covered, as were Indonesian advancements and initiatives in the renewable energy sector. Andrejs Senkovs, Co-Partner at Magnum Estate (Bali), wrapped up the morning’s contributions, highlighting the role of international markets in supporting Indonesia’s sustainable development goals and providing a testimony on property investment in Bali.

magnum estate bali
Andrejs Senkovs © Philip Andrukhovich

Suryo Tutuko, Executive Representative PT. Kawasan Industri Terpadu Batang, presneted the Grand Batang City project. Located in Central Java, the city aims to be the new industrial capital of Southeast Asia. It provides 4,300 hectars of clear land for industrial development, including office and retail area, factories and commercial areas.

Perspectives were also presented on foreign direct investments in the Nice Côte d’Azur region, and on enhancing tourism and economic collaboration between Nice and Indonesia.

The forum featured lively discussions and networking opportunities, allowing participants to engage with experts and explore potential synergies. The event received support from local authorities and organizations, including Ville de Nice, Metropole Nice Côte d’Azur, Team Nice Côte d’Azur, and Rising Sud, reflecting a mutual commitment to strengthening economic ties and promoting sustainable practices.

About the Indonesian Consulate in Marseille and Indonesian Embassy in Paris

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The Indonesian Consulate in Marseille and the Indonesian Embassy in Paris are dedicated to enhancing bilateral relations between Indonesia and France. They actively promote economic, cultural, and educational exchanges, supporting Indonesia’s global engagement and sustainable development goals.

The Consulate or Embassy are at your disposal should you be interested in collaborating with this young, vibrant and promising country in any of these fields.

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