Our relationship with Indonesia

New Zealand enjoys a strong relationship with Indonesia, and as Pacific neighbours with complementary economies, we’re natural partners.

Indonesia is one of the most populous countries in the world and has gone through rapid economic growth since democracy was restored in 1998. In Presidential elections in 2014, nearly four out of five eligible voters cast a ballot. There are many opportunities for New Zealand exporters in Indonesia that are supported by AANZFTA - our free trade agreement with the ASEAN countries. 

The main forum for discussions between New Zealand and Indonesia is the annual Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) led by foreign ministers. These meetings review progress on our relationship and set new goals. We also work with Indonesia through APEC, Pacific Islands Forum, East Asia Summit and other regional and international forums. Indonesia is an important partner for New Zealand in combatting transnational organised crime, including terrorism, people smuggling, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.


In 2016 16,448 Indonesians visited New Zealand (up 16% from 2015). There are just over 4,100 Indonesians resident in New Zealand. New Zealanders flock to Indonesia’s tourism centre – the island of Bali. In 2016 40,220 New Zealanders travelled to Indonesia.

New Zealand is working to attract more Indonesian students - with 937 studying here in 2016. The formal agreement Arrangement on Education Cooperation was established in 2012 to encourage relationships between educational authorities and tertiary providers in each country. Fifty scholarships for post-graduate study are provided each year for students from ASEAN countries. 

Defence and police

We work with the Indonesian defence force through activities such as joint officer training, non-combat training, humanitarian operations and at regional forums such as APEC.

New Zealand has a formal agreement with Indonesian police that allows better cooperation between our police forces in combating transnational crime. New Zealand also helps with training community police through the New Zealand Aid Programme.


2016 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$1,567 million


Exports to Indonesia

$843 million

Top exports: milk powder, butter and dairy spreads, frozen beef

Imports from Indonesia

$724 million

Top imports: food items, crude petroleum oils, mineral fuel and fertilizer


US$941 billion

GDP per capita US$3,834 (NZ GDP per capita is US$37,808)
GDP growth  4.9%  

Indonesia is the world’s 16th largest economy but projected to be the seventh largest by 2030. A growing consumer class among the population of 258 million make it an important market for New Zealand.

Our economies are largely non-competitive - each country produces what the other needs to buy, and exports and imports are largely balanced.

Two-way trade is supported by the free trade agreement AANZFTA which came in to force in 2012. Under this agreement 99% of New Zealand exports are set to enter Indonesia tariff-free by 2020.

WTO Dispute Settlement

In 2013, New Zealand commenced WTO dispute settlement proceedings challenging 18 agricultural trade barriers imposed by Indonesia. These barriers are estimated to have cumulatively cost the New Zealand beef sector alone between half a billion and a billion dollars, and have also affected certain horticultural exports. On 22 December 2016, a WTO Panel issued a decision ruling in favour of New Zealand in respect of all 18 challenged non-tariff barriers. Indonesia appealed the Panel's decision to the WTO Appellate Body on 17 February 2017. On 9 November 2017, the Appellate Body upheld the key findings of the WTO Panel, confirming that all 18 of the challenged measures are inconsistent with Article XI:1 of the GATT 1994. Further information about this dispute is available here.

Free trade agreements with Indonesia

We have a regional free trade agreement that includes Indonesia:

We're also negotiating another regional free trade agreement that includes Indonesia:

NZ Inc ASEAN strategy

As a member of ASEAN, Indonesia is included in the NZ Inc ASEAN strategy. NZ Inc is the Government’s plan to strengthen New Zealand’s economic, political and security relationships with key international partners. Indonesia is currently New Zealand's ASEAN dialogue partner.

Find out more about the NZ Inc ASEAN strategy


The New Zealand Aid Programme works with Indonesia to improve energy supply, increase agricultural returns, provide opportunities in tertiary education and reduce loss due to disasters.

Find out more about our aid programme in Indonesia


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Indonesia
  • July 2017: Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee visited Indonesia for the Sub-Regional Meeting on Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Cross-Border Terrorism 
  • September 2016: Trade Minister Todd McClay visited Indonesia
  • July 2016: Prime Minister John Key and Trade Minister Todd McClay traveled to Indonesia for an official visit along with a high-level business delegation
  • March 2016: Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse attended the 6th Bali Process Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime
Indonesia to New Zealand
  • March 2018: President Joko Widodo traveled to New Zealand for a state visit
  • March 2015: Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi for the 7th Joint Ministerial Commission between New Zealand and Indonesia
  • April 2013: Minister for State Apparatus and Bureaucratic Reform visited
  • October 2013: Foreign Minister Natalegawa visited for the 6th Joint Ministerial Commission between New Zealand and Indonesia

News & Events

Measles outbreak in New Zealand

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Find out more about the current outbreak of measles in New Zealand.

Statement on attacks on Surabaya churches


The New Zealand Government expresses sympathy and offers condolences to Indonesia and the families of those killed and injured in the attacks on three Christian churches in Surabaya.