Top 15 Foreign-Owned Businesses in Indonesia

Top 15 Foreign-Owned Businesses in Indonesia

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 30 November 2023
  • 6 minute reading time

Indonesia’s economy is so dynamic it has a good combination of local-owned and foreign-owned businesses. Many of those that are domestic are also owned or controlled by the state. Today, InCorp lists down our top 10 companies owned by foreigners.

The list is in no way exhaustive, and the numbers do not denote the actual ranking of these international corporations in Indonesia. If you are looking to start a business with a multinational company in Indonesia, this article will be nice to read.

Understanding Multinational Company

Multinational companies (MNCs) are large corporations that operate in two or more countries. Although they have their headquarters in one country, they have a significant presence in other countries through foreign subsidiaries, production facilities, sales offices, or other operations.

Criteria for Identifying an MNC

There is no single universally accepted definition of an MNC, but some common criteria include:

  • Foreign operations: An MNC must have operations in at least two countries. This could include owning or controlling subsidiaries in other countries, having production facilities in other countries, or having sales offices in other countries.
  • Revenue from foreign operations: A significant portion of an MNC’s revenue should come from its foreign operations. Some definitions suggest that at least 25% of an MNC’s revenue should come from its foreign operations.
  • Cross-border management: An MNC should have a centralized management structure that oversees its operations in multiple countries. This means the company has a central headquarters that decides strategy, investments, and other key matters.
  • Global integration: An MNC should be integrated into the global economy. This means that the company is not just a collection of national subsidiaries but a globally unified entity.

Top 15 Foreign-Owned Businesses in Indonesia

1. Unilever

Unilever is a Dutch brand that has established a presence in more than 100 countries. Founded in the 1930s, it has a market capitalization of $143.9 billion as of May 2017. In Indonesia, the brand has over 6,000 employees, founded in 1933.

2. HM Sampoerna

One of the biggest tobacco companies in the country, HM Sampoerna became famous with its kretek cigarettes. It is a combination of cloves, tobacco, and other surprising flavors. A Chinese-Indonesian immigrant named Liem Seeng Tee founded the company in 1913 and maintained control of it until Philip Morris International acquired approximately 97 percent of it.

3. Astra International

Astra International is one of the largest publicly listed firms in the country. Since it is a holdings company, it operates in various industries, including but not limited to automotive, financial services, infrastructure, and information technology. But while its CEO is an Indonesian, Prijono Sugiarto, Jardine Matheson, a British conglomerate, owns 50.1 percent of its share.

4. Google

While having its main Asian headquarters in Singapore, Google (whose physical office is in Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta) generates revenues from Indonesian advertisers. And its tax trouble can give you a pretty good idea of how profitable the Indonesian market is.

5. Marriott International

Marriott is a famous hospitality brand with a presence in over 100 countries. In 2015, its estimated income was more than $580 million. While it specializes in luxe accommodation, it also has more budget-friendly facilities or perfect for long-term stays.

6. Maybank

Maybank is one of Southeast Asia’s largest banks in market capitalization and assets. Although it is very popular in Indonesia, it is actually a Malaysian brand. You can also find it in Singapore. Currently, it has around 45,000 employees across its 2,400 offices in 20 countries around the world.

7. MedcoEnergi

Oil and gas is one of the most stable and big industries in the country, and a key player is MedcoEnergi. Encore Energy Pte Ltd controls about 50.7 percent of the business. This company is based in Singapore.

8. Toyota

While GM has already bid goodbye, Toyota continues to expand. This year, it has appointed its manufacturing facility’s first local president director. It has also committed to pouring $15 billion as investments until 2019.

9. L’Oreal

A very popular cosmetics firm, L’Oreal has its headquarters in Clichy, France. Two L’Oreal divisions are operating in Indonesia, one for marketing and distribution and the other for manufacturing.

10. Exxon Mobil

Another huge player in oil and gas is Exxon Mobil, an American multinational firm with a total revenue of over $218 billion in 2016. In Indonesia, it has been around for more than 100 years.

11. Adidas

Adidas, the renowned German sportswear giant, has been steadily expanding its presence in Indonesia, one of the most promising markets in Southeast Asia. The company’s journey in Indonesia began in the 1970s, and since then, it has established a strong foothold in the country’s sportswear market.

12. Nestlé

Nestlé’s expansion in Indonesia has been a remarkable success story, driven by its commitment to product quality, market understanding, and sustainable practices. The company’s continued growth and positive impact on Indonesia’s food industry demonstrate its ability to adapt to local needs and contribute to the country’s development.

13. Samsung

Samsung Electronics, a multinational electronics company headquartered in South Korea, has made a significant impact in Indonesia – one of Southeast Asia’s largest and most populous markets. The company’s growth in the region is a result of strategic investments, innovative product offerings, and a dedication to understanding local consumer preferences.

14. Nike

Nike, Inc. is a well-known American multinational corporation that designs and sells athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories. The company has managed to establish a strong presence in Indonesia, which is Southeast Asia’s fourth most populous nation. Nike’s success in the region can be attributed to a number of key milestones and strategic initiatives that have been implemented over the years.

15. Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation, a multinational technology company based in the United States, has made a substantial impact in Indonesia – one of the largest and most populous markets in Southeast Asia. The company’s decision to expand in Indonesia was driven by strategic investments, innovative product offerings, and a dedication to understanding the needs of local consumers.

Indonesia’s Top Multinational Companies in Valuation

In terms of market value for global business in Indonesia, there have been switches that are interesting to see.

1. PT Bank Central Asia Tbk.

2. PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk.

3. PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk.

4. PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk.

5. PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk.

6. PT Astra International Tbk.

7. PT Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna Tbk.

8. PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk.

9. PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk.

Expand Your Business to Indonesia with InCorp Indonesia!

Will your business grow as huge as this in Indonesia, or do you want to expand your multinational company in Indonesia? Who knows? One thing is for sure: don’t wait until later to start investing here. It’s a fabulous, electrifying economy that gives you a lot of opportunities for growth, market penetration, and diversification.

When it comes to setting up and operating your business by establishing a multinational company in Indonesia,  InCorp is ready to provide you with complete, reliable, fast, and efficient business support solutions from company registration to HR recruitment, payroll processing, and serviced offices in Jakarta, Bali and Semarang.

Don’t hesitate to contact us discussing deeper about business opportunities in Indonesia.

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.

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Frequent Asked Questions

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.

It depends on the type of company you decide to establish.
  • In a local (PT) company, a foreigner cannot become a commissioner. It is possible to have a foreign director, but there has to be at least one local Director in PT.
  • In a foreign-owned (PT PMA) company, a foreigner can be a director or a commissioner.

Foreign citizens can expand to Indonesia and establish a foreign-owned company (PT PMA). Depending on the business line you want to pursue, there are regulations for foreigners to follow when setting up a company in Indonesia. One of the most important is the so-called Positive Investment List, which is updated frequently and with other Indonesian regulations.

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.