There is no doubt that Indonesia with its economic potential is the heavyweight of ASEAN, which is based in Jakarta. With its GDP of around US$ 1,015 billion (2017) it ranks 16th in the world with current annual economic growth of just under 6%. It is an island state with over 17,500 islands and with its population of over 265 million it is the fourth most populous state in the world. Indonesia is rich in mineral resources and is one of the world's main exporters of coal, tin, nickel, copper, bauxite and gold. Recently, exports of wood and palm oil, among other things, have also increased. However, this threatens the country's biodiversity, which is still considered to be the largest in the world.
With regard to higher value added, a reorientation of the industry towards higher processing stages (value added) can be observed. This applies increasingly to all sectors of the economy, but rapid change is often countered by a lack of qualified workers. Although there is compulsory schooling, there are only about 5 million students in higher education and only a few universities reach international level. As a result, the demand from the business world for academics of international standard, especially in the fields of engineering and natural sciences, is significantly greater than the supply, which is also reinforced by the fact that Indonesian students often tend to pursue other, non-scientific-technical courses of study. In addition, religious topics have recently been increasingly found in training and study programmes at the expense of MINT content.
This shortage is also felt by the numerous German companies that have settled in Indonesia and of which, according to a statement by the German embassy, around 70% are active in technical areas. Although it is occasionally possible to recruit Indonesians who have studied or obtained their doctorate in Germany, there is nevertheless a high demand for skilled workers who have qualified according to the model of German engineering and scientific education.