Indonesia webinar promotes UK investment in Asia-Pacific

Indonesia is a market ripe for British investment and legal expertise, according to a consortium of trade, investment and legal experts from across the UK and Indonesia who gathered for a webinar event on Tuesday 25 May hosted by British Expertise International and the Law Society of England and Wales.

Jakarta, Indonesia skyline at dawn

Representatives from the Law Society of England and Wales, the British Chamber of Commerce Indonesia, Allen & Overy, GovRisk and the British Embassy Jakarta explored the current and potential rewards for British businesses looking to invest in the only G20 member state in Southeast Asia.

Doing Legal Business guide launched

Preeti Sawhney, international policy adviser for South Asia and ASEAN, presented on the support that we offer to law firms operating in Indonesia and took the opportunity to launch our guide on Doing Legal Business in Indonesia.

The new guidance covers the Indonesian legal sector in detail, including an in-depth look at the legal system, legal services market and requalification for solicitors qualified in England and Wales.

The guide also covers in-house lawyers, reserved areas of work and a detailed look at Indonesia's legal education system.

A market with great potential

Indonesia is regarded as a country that is “too big to ignore” by most UK investors.

With the fourth largest population in the world and a middle class that's expanding at the rate of three-to-four million people per year, this is an enormous potential market for British goods and services.

In April 2021, the UK and Indonesia announced a new Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) which is exploring ways to advance trade and cooperation in nine major sectors including:

  • education and training
  • financial and professional services
  • healthcare and life sciences
  • food and drink
  • agriculture
  • renewables and green energy

Legal services would fit under the financial and professional services sector.

Trade between the UK and Indonesia is currently valued at £3 billion but, with Indonesia projected to be one of the top five economies in the world by 2050, there are hopes to increase this on both sides.

The UK’s interest in Indonesia is far from unilateral and is part of a wider government strategy of a post-Brexit pivot to the Asia-Pacific, symbolised by a greater military presence and the UK’s application to be the first non-regional member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) made in February 2021.

Legal services market

There are opportunities for UK solicitors in a range of commercial sectors, including:

  • mergers and acquisitions
  • project financing
  • banking

English law is a popular choice for the international contracts of Indonesian companies, particularly for financing and shipping transactions.

Other than court proceedings, arbitration is increasingly being adopted as a popular way to settle commercial disputes in Indonesia.

The strong Indonesian economy suggests there are opportunities for local and foreign law firms to work together.

The UK is seeking stronger ties with the wider region, and both countries are identifying opportunities to enhance bilateral trade relations and set the groundwork for future cooperation.

Get involved

Watch a recording of the webinar on the British Expertise International website

If you're interested in our work in Indonesia or need more information, email international@lawsociety.org.uk.

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