Bilateral relations between France and Indonesia



​The France-Indonesia bilateral relations that have been established since September 1950 continue to show an increase, as shown through cooperations in various sectors. The momentum of bilateral relations was marked by the mutual visits between officials of both countries in bilateral and multilateral frameworks, as well as mutual support stance related to the nomination of membership of the two countries in various institutions of international organizations. 

In March 2017, President François Hollande visited Jakarta and met with President Joko Widodo to forge further bilateral cooperations between the two countries. Both leaders agreed on several collaborations in creative economy, education, maritime, sustainable cities development, energy, defense, and infrastructure projects. Later, President Joko Widodo has also met with President Emmanuel Macron in G20 Leaders' Retreat in July 2018 in Hamburg, Germany.

 Jokowi-Macron Hamburg2018_setpres.jpg
In the field of education, Indonesia and France have worked together in a Joint Working Group (JWG), focuses on the Double Degree program at Master's level (S2), a Joint Supervision program at the Doctorate level (S 3) between two countries' jointly funded by both countries. Indonesian students in France is around 425, the highest number in the last five years. In addition, the cooperation in the field of vocational secondary education is also marked by apprenticeship programs of some vocational teachers in France.

In defense, the bilateral cooperation is based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Indonesian Ministry of Defense and the French Ministry of Defense in 1996 on Cooperation in Equipment, Logistics and Defense industries. This cooperation was enhanced by the implementation of the Military Bilateral Talks between the Indonesia's Army (TNI) Headquarters and the AP French Headquarters in the field of education, information exchange, and exchange of visits/dialogues.

In social and culture, there are Franco - Indonesian Associations engaged in social and scattered in various cities in France. They contribute to the improvement of relations between the two countries through people to people contact. There are also some universities in France who have an Indonesian language teaching program. 

Various cultural and tourism promotion activities are conducted every year by the Indonesian government and local governments in France.


Economy: Trade

The trade between Indonesia and France in the last five years is as follows :

Table: balance of trade Indonesia - France (in USD thousand) 

 20122013201420152016 (Jan – Okt)2017 (Jan-Okt)
1.154.8911.082.8621.047.4741.003.241850.340. 899.933

Source: ITC Trademap 


Indonesia's main exports to France are machinery and electrical apparatus, oil and fat, footwear, rubber and rubber products, coffee, tea and spices, furniture, apparel products and accessories, essential oil, musical instruments, and fishery products.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's imports from France are mainly for: machinery, dairy products, automobiles, airplanes and its spareparts, pharmaceuticals, electrical machineries and its components, organic chemical, essential oil and resinoid extracts for perfume​s and cosmetics, animal feed, opticals, plastics and plastic products, chemicals, pulp of wood, and processed foods. 

Both France and Indonesia are members of G20.

Economy: Investment

​​​France is one of major investment spot in Europe. Foreign investment to France reached 39,58 billion Euro (ITC Investment Map, 2015), mainly for food and beverages, machinery and equipment, electrical and electronic equipment, motor vehicles, health and social services, construction, finance. Countries such as UAE, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Estonia, Australia, Bahamas, Cyprus, Japan, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Russia, and Qatar remain as main investor in France.

To further attract foreign investment, President Macron has set a more flexible labor policy, improved professional training programs, modernized governmental management system, encouraged start-up development, simplified procedures for construction and property permit, and reformed business tax system to boost national competitiveness. 

On the other hand, France's investment abroad is estimated at 37,49 billion Euro, covering major industries such as food processing, mining, petroleum, machinery and equipment, goods manufacture, agriculture, and transport equipment. UK, Italy, Ireland, the United States, Sweden, Singapore, Poland, Nigeria, Hungary, UAE, Bermuda, and Congo are main targets for France's investment.

Indonesia's investments in France so far include travel industry (Garuda Holiday) and mining (Maurel and Prom, subsidiaryPertamina).



France is one of world's most visited country, totaling up to 84 million visitors annually, with approximately 89 billion Euro in revenue and around 1,7 million people in employment. According to travel and tourism index, tourism in France is at number 2 under Spain. 

Several terror attacks in the country presented minor impacts to French tourism, according to The Travel and Tourism Competitive Index 2017, due to the country's solid performance in international openness, environmental sustainability, air transport infrastructure, ground and port infrastructure, tourist service infrastructure, cultural resources and business travel business environment, health coverage, IT, and privatization of tourism and travel industry. 

French visitors to Indonesia reached 268.064 in 2017, increased 10.56 percent from 254.126 in 2016. French visitors are mainly attracted to unique destinations, such as Ijen crater, Labuan Bajo and Komodo island, or Tana Toraja tomb, that are only available in Indonesia. ​​