Indonesia's export performance - dragged down by persistently low commodity prices - continued to decline in April 2016. According to data from BPS, the nation's exports fell for the 19th straight month. On a year-on-year basis, exports dropped 12.7 percent to USD $11.45 billion in April. After 2011, global commodity prices have been heading downwards, implying that Indonesia misses out on much-needed foreign exchange earnings. Compared to the preceding month there occurred a significant decline in coal exports in April (plunging by 3 million tons). BPS stated that this monthly decline was caused by the end of the winter period in the northern hemisphere.

Meanwhile, imports also fell for a 19th consecutive month in April. BPS announced that Indonesia's imports fell 14.6 percent (y/y) to USD $10.78 billion last month. Due to weaker foreign exchange earnings, Indonesians' purchasing power has been curbed, while high economic uncertainties have also hurt investment realization in Indonesia. Reduced economic activity in Indonesia causes lower demand for imports. Moreover, the weaker rupiah (depreciating sharply between mid-2013 and late-2015 due to severe capital outflows amid tightening monetary policy in the USA) makes imports more expensive.

It is the target of the Indonesian government to develop a domestic manufacturing industry hence reducing the economy's dependence on the commodities-growth model. Therefore, the government has been eager to make the investment climate more attractive (through infrastructure development as well as deregulation and tax incentives through the 12 economic policy packages).

Indonesia's Export-Import Performance:

(in USD billion)
       45.05  -13.6
(in USD billion)
       42.72  -13.4
(in USD billion)
        2.33  -16.8

Source: BPS

Trade Balance Indonesia:


Lex McGuir |

My experience is that you can not order things from the Internet from other countries because you need an import license. No one can order a watch, a camera. a part. a book, or a seed. Therefore, materials for learning, experimentation, repair, ... are not available in Indonesia.Impossible to even get a sample of an item that you might want to export. The people in Indonesia are at a disadvantage to people in other countries.

Surprisingly Indonesia does not have farm equipment manufacturing and is one of the few countries in the world which taxes farm equipment. So Indonesia wants to improve agricultural production but you have to use a shovel because you cannot buy a tiller!