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Apple given green light for return to Indonesia with retail location and online store

Apple has received permission from Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to start selling its products direct to consumers in the country. This will involve the resumption of its online sales business three years after halting the service due to shipping-related issues, and the building of its first bricks-and-mortar store in the nation’s capital city, Jakarta.

Apple’s Indonesia website currently looks much like any other country’s Apple website, except that there’s currently no Buy Now option for any of the listed products. Instead, it points customers to authorized resellers. With news of BKPM’s decision this week, that’s set to change. The move should help Apple shorten its supply chain and improve product distribution.

Apple’s decision to expand its operations in the Asian nation is expected to cost the company between $2 million and $3 million, a good chunk of which will no doubt be spent on its shiny new store.

Last month Apple brought its iTunes music store to 56 additional countries, Indonesia among them. The roll out allows for the online purchase in the local currency of a huge range of music, movies and apps, with prominence given to content by local artists.

With a population of nearly 250 million and a growing middle class, Indonesia is becoming an increasingly important market for Apple and its rivals, as is the wider Asian region. Apple CEO Tim Cook said recently that at some stage he expects China to become the company’s biggest market, taking the place of the US.

No mention has yet been made by Indonesian officials or Apple about a launch date for the online store or when the first pane of glass will be installed in its new retail store.

[NZweek via TNW]