Indonesia – the next frontier?

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To those wondering what the next marketing and business development frontier in the Asia-Pacific will be for law firms now that China and India have started to go off the boil, I can say “the hunt is over” – Indonesia will be the ‘hot’ new buzzword of 2015.

An article published in Singapore’s Straits Times today [26 January 2015] – “Foreign law firms eye Indonesia market – Global players drawn in by opportunities as Jakarta pursues investment deals” by Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja in Jakarta, sets out a number of compelling reasons (as well as limitations) as to why more global law firms are looking to try an get active in this rapidly expanding and increasingly attractive market.

Of note:

  • Indonesia is South-East Asia’s largest economy
  • The country has an extremely ambitious 5-year infrastructure (roads and railways) development plan
  • The government of newly elected President Joko Widodo is looking to boost gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 7 per cent over the term of its government

Add to this list that Indonesia has one of the fastest growing middle classes in the world, and setting aside some of the practical limitations in place on foreigners practising in Indonesia, given the close proximity of Australia to Indonesia it is somewhat surprising that Australian firms don’t appear to be having the same tactical strategic business development approach to this market (as outlined in the article) that firms in places such as Malaysia do.

Of course, this very likely will change during the course of the year as ‘Indonesia‘ becomes the buzzword of 2015.

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