Indonesia – remarkable Asia

Indonesia is now a big significant market.

Indonesia’s rising international profile as a large, middle-income country is reflected in the rapid increase in foreign investors’ interest in the country. It plays a prominent international role as a member of the G-20, as a member of ASEAN and an active participant in APEC.

Its economic performance over the past six years has been impressive, with growth reaching 6.5 percent in the first half of 2011. This is notable given the internal and external shocks the country has experienced. Sustained and resilient economic growth has doubled average incomes, and the number of people living below the national poverty line has declined steadily.

The government has set a target for Indonesia to become an advanced country by 2025. The nation’s abundant natural resources, relatively young population, burgeoning middle class, and location in a dynamic region of the world provide cause for optimism. Significant reforms since the Asian financial crisis have contributed to economic development and helped establish a vibrant, pluralistic democracy.

Government has set clear regulations in information technology and is working along with RIM as well as other providers to regulate the contents accessed through Internet. This is essential to ensure the growth of businesses in digital platform.

Indonesia has a passionate online community.

Indonesia has 240 million people and a Web audience around 30 million to 40 million people. And with its high and soaring mobile penetration, there is a possibility that its activeness on social media platforms is driven by high mobile usage (The mobile penetration rate crossed the 100% mark and was recorded at 110% by the year end).

Indonesia’s online growth in recent years is recognised as nothing short of phenomenal: the country’s 36 million Facebook accounts put it a close second behind the U.S., and users continue to increase; the number of Twitter accounts places it fourth worldwide.

This growth has been especially fuelled by the exploding use of Internet-enabled mobile phones across the country. Indonesia came in third for smartphone ownership as a percentage of the population trailing only Singapore and Malaysia. Costs of mobile phone Internet access have plummeted, leading to an upsurge in use (almost 90% of Twitter users access the platform via mobile phones, and for many it is also the portal of choice for accessing Facebook (80% of FB users access it through mobile phone). Mobile phones are often cited as a tool that can help ‘leapfrog’ the digital divide and at first glance Indonesia would appear to demonstrate this in action.

Users predominantly get online through private Internet cafés rather than through personal subscriptions. This is very different from some Asian countries like Singapore and Japan, which have an established wireless and broadband network. This goes to show Indonesian’s passion for the Internet — they had to find a way to access it and not just lay back and make do with the poor broadband networks at home.

Almost every TV commercial ad in Indonesia now invites people to connect with it through Facebook and Twitter. This is especially the case for brands with young target audience. Even small shops such as boutiques, restaurants, bars and clubs are now considerably well connected to their fans and followers.

Indonesia is indeed a big market but currently, people only use social media. They only use the different instant messaging applications, Facebook and Twitter. With the current situation, it is definitely an opportunity for Internet marketers. However, it is important to note that Indonesia is still learning; people know about Internet, but they are still afraid to do transactions over the Internet.