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Whitaker's Almanack: Indonesia

Information on Indonesia

See also QFINANCE article

Republik Indonesia – Republic of Indonesia

Whitaker's Almanack Definitions

  • Area – 1,904,569 sq. km
  • Capital – Jakarta; population, 9,120,730 (2009 est)
  • Major cities – Bandung, Bekasi, Depok, Makasar, Medan, Palembang, Semarang, Surabaya, Tangerang
  • Currency – Rupiah (Rp) of 100 sen
  • Population – 248,216,193 rising at 1.04 per cent a year (2012 est); Javanese (40.6 per cent), Sundanese (15 per cent), Madurese (3.3 per cent), Minangkabau (2.7 per cent), Betawi (2.4 per cent), Bugis (2.4 per cent), Banten (2 per cent), Banjar (1.7 per cent) (2000)
  • Religion – Muslim 88 per cent (predominantly Sunni), Christian 9 per cent, Hindu 2 per cent (est)
  • Language – Bahasa Indonesia (official), English, Dutch, Javanese, over 580 languages and dialects
  • Population density – 132 per sq. km (2010)
  • Urban population – 53.7 per cent (2010 est)
  • Median age (years) – 28.2 (2011 est)
  • National anthem – 'Indonesia Raya' ['Great Indonesia']
  • National day – 17 August (Independence Day)
  • Life expectancy (years) – 71.62 (2012 est)
  • Mortality rate – 6.28 (2012 est)
  • Birth rate – 17.76 (2012 est)
  • Infant mortality rate – 26.99 (2012 est)
  • Death penalty – Retained
  • CPI score – 3.0 (2011)
  • Literacy rate – 92.2 per cent (2008 est)
  • Gross enrolment ratio (percentage of relevant age group) – primary 117 per cent; secondary 75 per cent; tertiary 22 per cent (2009 est)
  • Health expenditure (per capita) – US$55 (2009)

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Climate and Terrain

Indonesia is an archipelago of over 17,500 islands, of which about 6,000 are inhabited. They include the islands of Sumatra, Java, Madura, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumba, Flores, the Riouw-Lingga archipelago, Bangka and Billiton, part of the island of Borneo (Kalimantan), Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), the Maluku (formerly Moluccas) archipelago and others comprising the provinces of East and West Nusa Tenggara, and the western halves of the islands of New Guinea (Papua; formerly Irian Jaya) and Timor. Many of the islands have narrow coastal plains with hilly or mountainous interiors, and around half of the country is covered by tropical rainforest. Elevation extremes range from 5,030m (Puncak Jaya, in Papua) to 0m (Indian Ocean). The climate is tropical; the average temperature is 28°C, but rainfall peaks in January and February and is lowest in August.

The country is located near to an intersection of tectonic plates, making it susceptible to seismic activity such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Its weather patterns are being affected by climate change.

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History and Politics

Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms existed in some parts of the Indonesian islands until the 14th century. Islam was introduced in the 13th century and spread over the next three centuries. Trading by the Portuguese began in the 16th century, but the Portuguese were displaced by the Dutch who, lured by the rich spice trade, came to dominate Indonesia by the early 20th century. Opposition to Dutch rule grew in the 1920s and the Japanese occupation of Indonesia during the Second World War strengthened nationalism, leading to a declaration of independence after liberation in 1945. This was not recognised by the Dutch, who attempted to reassert control, but after four years of guerrilla warfare they granted independence to the Netherlands Indies in 1949. Irian Jaya (now Papua) was annexed in 1963. Timor–Leste was invaded and annexed in 1975 but gained its independence in 2002.

Achmed Soekarno, the foremost proponent of self-rule since the 1920s, became president in 1949 but was deposed in 1966 in a military coup suppressed by General Suharto, who subsequently became president. Suharto remained in power until 1998 when, amid economic and social upheaval, he was succeeded by his deputy B. J. Habibie. Habibie’s cautious introduction of social and economic reforms led to him being defeated in 1999 by Abdurrahman Wahid, in the first democratic elections for 44 years. President Wahid was impeached for alleged financial corruption and in 2001 the legislature appointed Megawati Soekarnoputri (daughter of Achmed Soekarno) to replace him.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, of the Democratic Party, was elected president in 2004, and he was re-elected in 2009. In the 2009 legislative elections, the Democratic Party won the greatest number of seats but without an overall majority, and a coalition government was appointed by the president.

The 1959 constitution was amended in 2001 to provide for the establishment of the upper chamber of the legislature, and in 2002 to provide for the direct election of the president and the abolition of parliamentary seats reserved for the armed forces.

The executive president is directly elected for a five-year term, renewable once, and appoints the cabinet. The bicameral People’s Consultative Assembly comprises the House of Representatives, which has 560 members directly elected for a five-year term, and the House of Representatives of the Regions, which has 132 members, four for each province, directly elected on a non-partisan basis for a five-year term.

HEAD OF STATE

President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, sworn in 20 October 2004, re-elected 2009
Vice-President, Boediono

SELECTED GOVERNMENT MEMBERS as at June 2012

Defence, Purnomo Yusgiantoro
Finance, Agus Martowardojo
Foreign Affairs, Marty Muliana Natalegawa

EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

38 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HW
T 020-7499 7661 E kbri@btconnect.com W www.indonesianembassy.org.uk
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, HE Teuku Mohammad Hamzah Thayeb, apptd 2012

BRITISH EMBASSY

Jalan M. H. Thamrin 75, Jakarta 10310
T (+62) (21) 2356 5200 W ukinindonesia.fco.gov.uk
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, HE Mark Canning, apptd 2011

Insurgencies

Separatist movements developed in several parts of Indonesia after independence, including Maluku, which fought an unsuccessful separatist war in the 1950s; Irian Jaya (now Papua), which was granted greater autonomy in 2002, although separatist agitation continues; Timor–Leste, from its annexation in 1975 until independence in 2002; and Aceh province in Sumatra, which was granted a degree of autonomy in 2005.

Since the fall of Suharto in 1998, tensions between different ethnic and religious groups have surfaced, and there has been intercommunal violence in Kalimantan (1996–7, 1999, 2001), Sulawesi (1998–2000, 2001, 2005) and Maluku (1999–2002, 2004).

At least two Muslim extremist groups are based in Indonesia and claim links with al-Qaida. They have been held responsible for bombings in Bali in 2002 and 2005 and Jakarta in 2003, 2004 and 2009.

Political System

The 1959 constitution was amended in 2001 to provide for the establishment of the upper chamber of the legislature, and in 2002 to provide for the direct election of the president and the abolition of parliamentary seats reserved for the armed forces.

The executive president is directly elected for a five-year term, renewable once, and appoints the cabinet. The bicameral People’s Consultative Assembly comprises the House of Representatives, which has 560 members directly elected for a five-year term, and the House of Representatives of the Regions, which has 132 members, four for each province, directly elected on a non-partisan basis for a five-year term.

HEAD OF STATE

President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, sworn in 20 October 2004, re-elected 2009
Vice-President, Boediono

SELECTED GOVERNMENT MEMBERS as at June 2012

Defence, Purnomo Yusgiantoro
Finance, Agus Martowardojo
Foreign Affairs, Marty Muliana Natalegawa

EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

38 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HW
T 020-7499 7661 E kbri@btconnect.com W www.indonesianembassy.org.uk
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, HE Teuku Mohammad Hamzah Thayeb, apptd 2012

BRITISH EMBASSY

Jalan M. H. Thamrin 75, Jakarta 10310
T (+62) (21) 2356 5200 W ukinindonesia.fco.gov.uk
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, HE Mark Canning, apptd 2011

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Defence

All aged 16–49, 2010 estMalesFemales
Available for military service65,847,17163,228,017
Fit for military service54,264,29953,274,361

Military expenditure – US$5,220m (2011)
Conscription duration – 24 months (selective)

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Economy and Trade

The economy struggled from the late 1990s until recent years, hit in succession by the Asian financial crisis, the political turmoil following the fall of Suharto, a downturn in tourism following the Bali bombings and a number of natural disasters since 2004. President Yudhoyono's government introduced significant economic reforms which reduced debt, unemployment and inflation and boosted growth in 2004–8. Although growth slowed in 2008, government stimulus measures countered the effect of the global downturn in 2009 and by 2011 Indonesia's credit rating was raised to investment grade due mainly to its low rates of inflation and small current account surplus. Poverty, poor infrastructure, corruption, a complex regulatory regime and inequitable resource distribution among Indonesia's regions continue to present problems.

Natural resources include oil, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, coal, gold and silver. However, a lack of investment in prospecting for new sources has led to a decline in oil production and Indonesia has been a net importer since 2004. The exploitation and processing of mineral assets, production of textiles, clothing, cement, fertilisers, plywood and rubber, and tourism are the main industrial activities; industry accounts for 46 per cent of GDP and services 39.1 per cent, employing 12.8 per cent and 48.9 per cent of the workforce respectively. Agriculture contributes only 14.9 per cent of GDP but employs 38.3 per cent of the workforce. The main crops are rice, cassava, peanuts, rubber, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, copra and livestock products.

The main trading partners are Singapore, Japan, China, the USA, South Korea and other Pacific Rim nations. Principal exports are oil and natural gas, electrical appliances, plywood, textiles and rubber. The main imports are machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuel and foodstuffs.

GNI – US$686,633m; US$2,500 per capita (2010)
Annual average growth of GDP – 6.4 per cent (2011 est)
Inflation rate – 5.7 per cent (2011 est)
Population below poverty line – 13.3 per cent (2010)
Unemployment – 6.7 per cent (2011 est)
Total external debt – US$158,800m (2011 est)
Imports – US$132,099m (2010)
Exports – US$157,823m (2010)

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

Trade – US$25,724m surplus (2010)
Current Account – US$5,643m surplus (2010)

Trade with UK20102011
Imports from UK£438,877,161£630,948,764
Exports to UK£1,373,289,047£1,300,130,610

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Communications

Airports – There are 684 airports and airfields, of which 171 have surfaced runways; each of the main islands has a major airport, with most capable of accepting international flights

Waterways – There are nine major ports, usually the chief towns of the major islands, and the merchant fleet contains 1,340 ships of over 1,000 tonnes

Roadways and railways – There are 437,759km of roadways and 5,042km of railways

Telecommunications – 37.96 million fixed lines in use, 220 million mobile subscriptions (2010); there were 20 million internet users in 2009

Internet code and IDD – id; 62 (from UK) 1 44/ 8 44 (to UK)

Major broadcasters – Radio and Televisi Republik Indonesia, the country's principal broadcaster, operates six television and two radio networks

PressThe Jakarta Post and The Jakarta Globe dominate a competitive market which includes eight other dailies

WPFI score – 35,83 (117)

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