Investing in Indonesia

Hello everyone,

During your expatriation in Indonesia, you might have been made aware of interesting investment schemes (local or international). Whether one wants to make money grow, protect oneself or prepare for retirement, investment is always an attractive option. It is, however, never free of risk. Would you, therefore, like to share some practical information for other expats and expats to be?

Is the Indonesian economy open to foreign investment? Do local authorities encourage investment (through formalities, tax etc.)?

What are the promising sectors to invest and do business in Indonesia?

Who do you turn to for information before investing your money? (organisation, professional, lawyer, consultant)

According to the sectors of activity and the projects, what budget should be foreseen for an investment in Indonesia?

What do you think are the pitfalls to avoid and what advice would you give someone who wants to invest?

Thanks in advance for your feedback,
Diksha

Hi Diksha, I think its better u do first some reaserch on the web about this so complicated topic and then start with specific questions.
The most common tip regarding investing in Indonesia is "invest only money that u can afford to loose".

Hi Marcello!

I’m not so sure I’d use the web for making these sort of decisions given how unreliable and self serving much of the information to be found there can be.

My investment strategy has always been to primarily rely on word of mouth from those I personally know, and trust. 

That said, my “bottom line” on investment potential in Indonesia is, and has always been, that it is unlimited.

Ubudian :

Hi Marcello!

I’m not so sure I’d use the web for making these sort of decisions given how unreliable and self serving much of the information to be found there can be.

My investment strategy has always been to primarily rely on word of mouth from those I personally know, and trust. 

That said, my “bottom line” on investment potential in Indonesia is, and has always been, that it is unlimited.

Hi Ubudian,
of course is important listen strories from people who already have setlled business, even if Im not sure that the OP hcve someone she personally trust and know.
What I mean is that the first step should be to do reaserch about law and regolution in Indonesia concerning foreigner investiment and than delve into the topic.

Hi diksha.. I got divorced and then even the visa now is complicated. Luckily I invested small amounts sold things and gave the rest to friends and family n charity...
Otherwise people in Indonesia are amazing and so peaceful. It is open but you should have an indonesian partner, u can't jst come and invest. It's normal like any country who protects its economy

I have never thought of Indonesia as somewhere permanent and the government here is always changing the rules towards foreigners and at times over the years has tried to get rid of having foreigners living and working here, so I have always been a little reticent about investing here.

As mentioned above, having an Indonesian spouse makes a huge difference as you can do everything in their name. Property business is good, both flipping and renting or just for long term investment. Interest rates on savings used to be really high, more than 10% and although not that high anymore is still better than in so many other countries.

Starting a business through your spouse is relatively easy. The risk is choosing the business wisely as there are so many small businesses that go bankrupt or struggle to make ends meet. There are lots and lots of relatively inexpensive franchises available too. But in general, if you have a good idea, are willing to put the money and time into it, you can do very well.

Shill88 :

I have never thought of Indonesia as somewhere permanent and the government here is always changing the rules towards foreigners and at times over the years has tried to get rid of having foreigners living and working here, so I have always been a little reticent about investing here.

As mentioned above, having an Indonesian spouse makes a huge difference as you can do everything in their name. Property business is good, both flipping and renting or just for long term investment. Interest rates on savings used to be really high, more than 10% and although not that high anymore is still better than in so many other countries.

Starting a business through your spouse is relatively easy. The risk is choosing the business wisely as there are so many small businesses that go bankrupt or struggle to make ends meet. There are lots and lots of relatively inexpensive franchises available too. But in general, if you have a good idea, are willing to put the money and time into it, you can do very well.

I would be very careful to register anything under the name of an indonesian spouse, unless the spouse accept to sign a prenup or a postnup (better both), too many foreigner loose everything here trusting their indonesian spouse.

Hi Marcello, I agree that your comments apply to some foreigners. We sometimes see people come on here and talk about being in a bitter divorce or such. I guess not everyone is a good judge of character, but that doesn't apply to everyone, especially those with children who have been married a long time.

Also, anyone who puts all their eggs into one basket (Indonesia) is taking a risk. Spread your assets overseas and keep some in your own name.

Anyway, every relationship is different and you are referring to the bad ones that get more publicized. I am sure there are also lots of expats married to local women who do not have this kind of problem. The foreigners who lose everything by trusting their wives probably should have used better judgement or at least have been fully sober before agreeing to tie the knot.

Hi Shill88, I totally agree ur statement, Im married from 7 years with a Javanese woman, our reletionship is very strong, but when we decided to get married I ask her to sign a prenup, because, even if I loved her very much, we never know what can happen in the future, so better cover our ass (in Italy we say something like "Better to blush first than to turn pale later).

Yes some prefer to sign a prenup and many people here recommend doing it. For me, I didn't need a prenup and we've been married for around 11 years. If anything happened to me I'd want her to have everything for her and the kids anyway. And I have investments overseas in my own name and a source of income as well as a private pension kicking in quite soon, but anyway our plans are to one day move to Japan and later to the UK where perhaps our kids will go to university.

But yes, signing a prenup is fine for many. But I wonder if anyone else here hasn't signed a prenup and has no regrets at all?

Didn't sign anything.. but I regret the many years I wasted there .. causing my kids so much stress flying often from there to Morocco..school here shook there..now they don't live with me and they're depressed.
BTW shill88... University will be obsolete.. everything will be online and we don't know yet how it will be in AI era

Haha...exactly, everyone's situation is different.

Re. universities becoming obsolete, it becomes like homeschooling, except homeschooling also hasn't really taken off yet. If universities do become obsolete then that too would be great.

Hi Diksha,

Investing in Indonesia is open to foreigners, however as all already replied, it will depends on the sector and what kind of investment you are talking about.

For personal investment, usually it will need Indonesian counterparts you trust (friends, spouse, business partners, etc) to act on your behalf.

To open a business, it will usually be a joint venture, as usually locals will have the most shares.

To become a venture investor to a startup industry, it will have more complicated process. However I am not familiar on this matter.

Having a business with a wife is one thing, but having a business with a local partner where the partner has the most shares would never interest me, especially if I am expected to provide finance. Be careful.

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