Bilateral Partnership Indonesia and Singapore in 2023

Exploring Bilateral Partnership Between Indonesia and Singapore in 2023

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 18 June 2024
  • 5 minute reading time

The 2023 bilateral partnership between Indonesia and Singapore is a significant milestone in broadening the relationship as neighboring nations. As key players in Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Singapore understand the value of collaboration in driving regional progress, especially in the economic sector.

This article explores the multifaceted bilateral partnership between Indonesia and Singapore. You’ll find insights on its impact on economic growth, trade, investment, technology, defense, and cultural exchange. 

With a shared vision for a prosperous future, Indonesia and Singapore forge ahead, shaping the region’s trajectory through their dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership.

Indonesia and Singapore’s Conference on Cooperative Partnership in 2023

The recent trip by President Joko  Widodo to Singapore has been impactful on the relationship between Indonesia and Singapore. Indonesia has approved agreements with Singapore regarding air space management, defense cooperation, and extradition of fugitives. 

It removes previous tensions between the two countries and opens more opportunities for them to work together in important areas that benefit both populations for the future.

Indonesia and Singapore’s Historical Relationship

Friendly and positive relations characterize the relationship between Indonesia and Singapore. Leaders and officials from both countries collaborate closely on bilateral and international matters, including ASEAN. 

These interactions occur regularly, including high-level events such as the annual Leaders’ Retreat and the Ministerial Meeting of the Six Bilateral Economic Working Groups. Such exchanges help strengthen the two countries’ relationship at both national and provincial levels.

The strong economic cooperation between Indonesia and Singapore is a key pillar of their relationship. In 2019, bilateral trade amounted to $59 billion, and Singapore has been the primary foreign investor in Indonesia since 2014. 

The two countries also cooperate significantly across various sectors, including education, culture, defense, and the environment.

Read more: Nongsa Digital Park: Why is it Important for Singaporean Investors?

The Importance of the Bilateral Partnership in 2023

Guide to Doing Business in Jakarta

Mailchimp Free eBook Indonesia Business Insight

Indonesia has worked with friendly countries to establish various bilateral, regional, and multilateral forums. In developing these relationships, Indonesia prioritizes mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs, rejection of violence, consultation, and decision-making through consensus. 

Accordingly, Indonesia has formed bilateral partnerships with 162 countries and one special territory classified as non-self-governing.

New Areas of Cooperation between Indonesia and Singapore

Bilateral Partnership Indonesia and Singapore in 2023

Prime Minister Lee of Singapore and President Joko Widodo acknowledged the strong state of their countries’ bilateral relations. They agreed to strengthen their collaboration in both sustainable and future-oriented areas of mutual interest. 

To achieve this goal, the Leaders observed the signing of six Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in emerging fields such as the digital economy, sustainability, and human capital development, as well as in more conventional areas such as security.

1. Boosting ASEAN Tech Collaboration

To strengthen ASEAN collaboration in this emerging sector, an MoU was signed on the Tech Ex-Program. This program will facilitate work exchanges between young tech professionals from both countries, enabling them to gain experience in each other’s tech industries. 

Additionally, both countries will work towards a digital economy framework agreement during Indonesia’s ASEAN chairmanship.

2. Powering a Sustainable Future

An MoU was signed to facilitate business arrangements related to the growth of renewable energy capabilities, transmission infrastructure, and cross-border electricity trading. 

It will enhance energy infrastructure, promote energy transition, and ensure energy security for Singapore and Indonesia. 

3. Building Smart and Sustainable Cities

The next MoU on sustainable urban and housing development will make it easier for us to collaborate to develop innovative financing for smart and sustainable infrastructure. This partnership will focus on making the Nusantara capital city a pilot for smart and green development. 

4. Solidifying Defense Cooperation

The Defense Ministries of Singapore and Indonesia have strengthened their bilateral defense ties through a joint update on defense cooperation.  In addition, the SCDF and Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency have also signed an MoU on urban search and rescue, further deepening partnerships in traditional areas.

5. Collaborating for Health Resilience

A health cooperation MoU has been signed to promote the health sector’s exchange of information, knowledge, data, and technology. The two countries have cooperated closely throughout the pandemic and plan to continue in the post-pandemic era.

6. Continued Financial Partnership

Singapore and Indonesia have extended their bilateral financial agreement between their central banks for the fourth year, which will foster.

Aside from that, Singapore also fully supports Indonesia as the ASEAN chair of 2023. Singapore plans to continually work with Indonesia to prepare for the obligations and commitments as ASEAN chair. 

It is proved by the giant step taken to resolve long-standing issues and establish better bilateral relations. 

Businesses can leverage these relationships to their advantage by fostering cooperative intentions for mutual growth.

Read more: Company Incorporation Differences Between Indonesia and Singapore


Given Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship and the spotlight, it brings to the country and its economy, businesses should capitalize on this momentum by seeking assistance with business licensing and company registration.

InCorp Indonesia (formerly Cekindo) is a leading service consultant specializing in providing comprehensive assistance to individuals and businesses seeking to establish and operate their corporations in Indonesia. 

With a strong focus on business licensing and company registration, InCorp Indonesia is a trusted partner that ensures a seamless and compliant setup process for your corporation in the Indonesian market.

Pandu Biasramadhan

Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

Get in touch with us.

Lead Form

Disclaimer: The information is provided by PT. Cekindo Business International (“InCorp Indonesia/ we”) for general purpose only and we make no representations or warranties of any kind.

We do not act as an authorized government or non-government provider for official documents and services, which is issued by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia or its appointed officials.

We do not promote any official government document or services of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, including but not limited to, business identifiers, health and welfare assistance programs and benefits, unclaimed tax rebate, electronic travel visa and authorization, passports in this website.

Frequent Asked Questions

There are two main types, namely, primary business licenses and non-primary business licenses. The primary ones commonly apply to various industries, such as general and industrial business licenses. Additional non-primary ones are included, depending on the operations of your business. Examples of non-primary business licenses are operational and commercial licenses.

Yes, you must apply for it to be able to issue work permits for your foreign employees. This permanent business license is also a prerequisite for the applications for other business licenses and import licenses.

As their names suggest, the main differences between the three business kinds in Indonesia lie in the businesses and the purpose of their incorporation. Local company owners (PT) must be Indonesian citizens, as even 1 percent of foreign ownership is not allowed. This type of company is not limited to entering any business field, and restrictions on incorporation are not so tight. On the contrary, a foreign-owned company (PT PMA) is open to international investors, but the maximal percentage of foreign shares differs in various business sectors. Contact InCorp to get the most updated information on the Negative Investment List. International investors tend to open representative offices as a first step to understanding the Indonesian market before setting up a limited liability company. This type is used for marketing and promotion activities and needs the right to sell directly and receive income.

Yes, this mainly applies to import and export businesses. Instead of establishing a company, you can use an under-name import service, an importer of record.

It should take between 30 to 45 days.