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 2018, we celebrated sixty years of diplomatic relations and elevation of the bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership, reflecting the increasing value of the relationship.
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.
Two-way visitor numbers are increasing. In 2018, 26,000 Indonesians (including 18,000 tourists) visited New Zealand (an increase of 7.7 percent from 2017). There are just over 4,000 Indonesians resident in New Zealand. New Zealanders flock to Indonesia’s tourism centre – the island of Bali. In 2018, 112,000 New Zealanders travelled to Indonesia.
New Zealand is working to attract more Indonesian students - with 1,248 studying here in 2018. The formal agreement Arrangement on Education Cooperation was established in 2011 to encourage relationships between educational authorities and tertiary providers in each country. All eight New Zealand universities and some independent training providers have direct relationships with a range of Indonesian universities and provincial governments offering courses in specialised fields. Under the New Zealand Aid Programme up to 60 scholarships for post-graduate study are provided each year for Indonesian students.
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.
New Zealand has a formal agreement with Indonesian police that allows better cooperation between our police forces in combating transnational crime.
2019 statistics (as at August)
Total two-way trade in goods and services
Exports to Indonesia
Top exports: dairy, education, tourism, wood, meat
Imports from Indonesia
Top imports: food items, crude petroleum oils, mineral fuel and fertilizer
GDP (December 2018)
|GDP per capita||US$3,932||(NZ GDP per capita is US$41,555)|
Indonesia is the world’s 16th largest economy but projected to be the fifth largest by 2030. A growing consumer class among the population of 270 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. We are working with Indonesia on its implementation of the WTO Appellate Body decision.
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.
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.
- New Zealand is represented in Indonesia by the New Zealand Embassy, Jakarta
- Indonesia is represented in New Zealand by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Wellington (external link)
New Zealand to Indonesia
- March 2019: Deputy Prime Minster/Foreign Minister Peters attended an Indonesia-led High Level Dialogue on Indo-Pacific Cooperation in Jakarta.
- December 2018: Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio represented New Zealand at the Bali Democracy Forum in December
- November 2018: Justice Minister Andrew Little visited Jakarta to attend the Regional Meeting on Transnational Security (rescheduled following August Lombok earthquake)
- October 2018: Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Affairs Minister Peters visited Jakarta to attend the 8th Joint Ministerial Commission meeting
- August 2018: Finance Minister Grant Robertson attended the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group in Bali
- August 2018: Minister of Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway attended the 7th Ministerial conference on the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime held in Bali
Indonesia to New Zealand
- July 2019: Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and senior ministerial delegation travelled to Auckland to host Indonesia’s Pacific Exposition
- March 2018: President Joko Widodo travelled 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
New Zealand has stepped up its support for Indonesia in its efforts to tackle COVID-19 by increasing the capacity, quantity and quality of COVID-19 testing.
The new Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC 2021) Bill was introduced to the House on Wednesday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Find out more about the current outbreak of measles in New Zealand.