British Council Creative Economy

Menu Show search


As the largest economy in South East Asia and the fourth most populous country in the world could Indonesia’s creative industries be a powerhouse for the 21st century?

Recently named a MINT country (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria & Turkey) Indonesia has been identified as one of the world’s most exciting and fast-growing emerging economies. McKinsey & Co have predicted that Indonesia will be the seventh largest economy in the world by 2030 (it ranked 16th in 2011). MINT countries is a term popularised by economist Jim O’Neill (who coined the term BRIC countries) to identify the next economic giants. Indonesia is comprised of over 13,000 islands and hundreds of different ethnicities and languages; this rich cultural heritage and diversity alongside a huge domestic market (240 million) mean there are exciting opportunities for the creative industries.

Traditional manufacturing, in textiles for example, is declining, as it only attracts low skilled workers and pollutes the land. IT, film and creative businesses, vital for higher value economies, are seen as the way forward by many of the burgeoning cities. Important centres of the creative industries in Indonesia include Yogakarta, Bandung, Makassar, Ubud and the capital Jakarta. Due to a lack of official infrastructure much of Indonesia’s creative sectors have a grass roots DIY culture – from the numerous arts festivals in Yogyakarta to community-run initiatives such as Bandung Creative City Forum.

In 2012 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the UK's Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (MTCE) in Indonesia to develop the latter's creative industries by strengthening the exchange of information and best practice between the two countries. The British Council is leading on initiatives to support the objectives of the MoU over the next five years. In the past decade, we've been doing major groundwork in Indonesia enabling improved understanding of the value of the creative economy, facilitating awareness-raising visits to the UK, and delivering programmes for support of young creative entrepreneurs in design, fashion, music and screen industries.

Over the next two year 2013 -2015 we’re working with arts colleagues and external partners in both the UK and Indonesia supporting the mapping of key creative sectors and developing industry skills (especially the film industry), assisting the government Ministries and city councils in the design of cultural policies, and highlighting the opportunities to collaborate in this vast and exciting country.

For a snapshot of what and who we’re watching in Indonesia check out the links below.


Ridwan Kamil – Award-winning architect and Mayor of Bandung

Dewi Tanjung – Founder of craft social enterprise to empower women

Robin Malau – Founder of a digital music aggregator Musikator


Bandung Creative City Forum