Indonesia import surge signals industrial transformation

JAKARTA – Australian exports of iron ore and coking coal to Indonesia have increased dramatically as Southeast Asia’s biggest economy broadens its fast-growing industrial base and a booming construction sector establishes itself as a major contributor to gross domestic product (GDP).

Indonesia was only Australia’s 13th largest export market and 16th largest source of imports in 2020, belying the promising trade potential between the two neighbors. But the last year may well have served as a game-changer in the relationship.

While Indonesia’s non-oil and gas exports rose by only a modest 14%, imports rocketed a record 105%, partly on the back of a huge surge in wheat imports that restored Australia’s position as Indonesia’s largest supplier of the grain.

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