Singapore businesses seek growth in Indonesia

Photo by Tom Fisk

With the reopening of borders between Indonesia and Singapore earlier this year, Singapore businesses are resuming travel to Indonesia to seek growth opportunities.

In line with this, the Singapore Enterprise Centre (SEC) @ Jakarta, part of the GlobalConnect@SBF programme, recently held its first business networking event – a fireside chat and networking reception in Jakarta, in conjunction with Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong’s visit to Indonesia at the end of May.

Established on 1 January 2021, SEC@Jakarta provides Singapore businesses with in-market support to facilitate their business growth in Indonesia. Indonesia is a key market for Singapore businesses looking to venture overseas.

Singapore’s bilateral trade with Indonesia was S$59.1 billion in 2021, a 21.0% increase from 2020. The total value of Singapore’s investments in Indonesia was US$9.4 billion (S$12.8 billion) in 2021.

Internationalisation is one of SBF’s strategic pillars to help our companies emerge stronger from the pandemic. To help businesses expand globally, SBF, with support from Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), launched the GlobalConnect@SBF initiative in 2019. This was established to help companies in three key areas:

  • Learn: access practical in-person advice useful market resources
  • Land: tap on expertise and experience to win deals and launch successfully overseas
  • Localise: deepen market presence through established business networks for long-term sustainability

Since then, the programme has provided close to 4,200 business advisories and successfully facilitated close to 140 projects. Of which, about 650 advisories and 30 projects were focused on Indonesia.

Mr Moe Ibrahim, Founder and CEO of Deelish Brands, a restaurant management company focused on transforming fast/casual halal food said, “GlobalConnect@SBF was instrumental in our expansion into Indonesia. With their support, I was able to connect with key partners such as Grab Kitchen, the largest halal-certified cloud kitchen network in Indonesia. This has greatly boosted opportunities for us to grow our business in this huge market and we look forward to establishing our first outlet in Indonesia soon.”

To facilitate and enable more Singapore companies to expand into Indonesia, SBF is also piloting a “Landing Pad Programme” under the SEC@Jakarta, which will provide companies with a tailored 21-day immersion experience to accelerate their potential of securing partnerships and sales in the market.

Companies will gain first- hand experience of the business culture and have the opportunity to network with curated business partners according to their business interests.

Mr Lim Ming Yan, Chairman of SBF said, “Singapore businesses are very optimistic about business opportunities in Indonesia, which continues to rank as one of the top five countries that they would like to venture into.

“With the reopening of borders, many businesses are looking forward to restarting business talks and exploring new opportunities in Indonesia. Through our GlobalConnect@SBF programme and SEC@Jakarta, SBF looks forward to helping more Singapore businesses achieve success in Indonesia.”

Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer of EnterpriseSG said, “Indonesia is a key growth market for Singapore businesses, especially in sectors like lifestyle & consumer, infrastructure, energy and innovation. The SEC@Jakarta serves as an important first touchpoint to provide business advisory services and in-market support for companies new to the market.

“We encourage more SMEs to tap on this strong network of in-market support to explore new opportunities and deepen collaboration with Indonesian businesses.”