Indonesia is Toyota’s Key to Africa

Last year, as Indonesia’s best performing exporter, PT Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia received the Ministry of Trade’s Primaniyarta Award. Toyota also received the award in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2013.

The award is a result of continuous growth in volume and value of exports, as well as growth in the number of export destinations. Toyota now exports from Indonesia to more than 70 countries around the world.

According to news agency Nikkei, Toyota is part of an economic transformation that is gathering pace in Indonesia and Indian Ocean countries increasingly do business with each other.

Indonesia occupies a key geographic position for such trade. Companies such as Toyota are using this to promote exports to Africa and the Middle East – the destination for about 40 percent of the 150,000 vehicles of all brands shipped abroad from Jakarta in 2013.

In 2014, Toyota’s overseas shipments from Indonesia grew by 35 percent, and for the first time included exports of the Yaris, Vios and Agya. Some of the Vios production was shifted from Thailand to a plant in Karawang, West Java, because of its superior location for exporting to the Middle East.

Also, Indonesian-made Toyota minivans are exported to more than 10 African nations, including Nigeria and Mozambique. The vehicles are made to Indonesian specifications with high road clearance and strong off-road capabilities that translate well to African markets, says Nikkei.

The Indian Ocean region’s population is projected to grow to three billion in 2040, from 2.2 billion in 2010, and total trade among the 20 members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association has already surpassed $1.2 trillion. In 2020, the region’s share of global exports is forecast to match that of the U.S, says Nikkei.

Indonesia aims to boost maritime trade, and President Joko Widodo, inaugurated last October, has vowed to spend more than $400 billion on infrastructure development including ports.