Indonesia

 

The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; the islands were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence after Japan’s surrender, but it required four years of intermittent negotiations, recurring hostilities, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to relinquish its colony. Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic state and home to the world’s largest Muslim population. Current issues include: alleviating poverty, preventing terrorism, consolidating democracy after four decades of authoritarianism, implementing financial sector reforms, stemming corruption, holding the military and police accountable for human rights violations, and controlling avian influenza. In 2005, Indonesia reached a historic peace agreement with armed separatists in Aceh, which led to democratic elections in December 2006. Indonesia continues to face a low intensity separatist movement in Papua.

 

Geography:
Location: South-eastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
Geographic coordinates: 5 00 S, 120 00 E
People:
Population: 248,645,008 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.3% (male 34,165,213/female 32,978,841)

15-64 years: 66.5% (male 82,104,636/female 81,263,055)

65 years and over:  6.1% (male 6,654,695/female 8,446,603) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Indonesia

conventional short form: Indonesia

local long form: Republik Indonesia

local short form: Indonesia

former: Netherlands East Indies, Dutch East Indies

Government type: republic
Capital: name: Jakarta

geographic coordinates: 6 10 S, 106 49 E

time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

note: Indonesia is divided into three time zones

Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 37.96 million (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 220 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 676 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 185

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 22

1,524 to 2,437 m: 51

914 to 1,523 m: 71

under 914 m: 37 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Indonesian Armed Forces (TentaraNasional Indonesia, TNI): Army (TNI-AngkatanDarat (TNI-AD)), Navy (TNI-AngkatanLaut (TNI-AL); includes marines, naval air arm), Air Force (TNI-AngkatanUdara (TNI-AU)), National Air Defence Command (KommandoPertahananUdaraNasional (Kohanudnas)) (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; 2-year conscript service obligation, with reserve obligation to age 45 (2008)

Economy:

Indonesia, a vast polyglot nation, has been undergoing significant economic reforms under President YUDHOYONO. Indonesia’s debt-to-GDP ratio has been declining steadily, its foreign exchange reserves are at an all-time high of over $50 billion, and its stock market has been one of the three best performers in the world in 2006 and 2007, as global investors sought out higher returns in emerging markets.

 

The government has introduced significant reforms in the financial sector, including tax and customs reforms, the introduction of Treasury bills, and improved capital market supervision. Indonesia’s new investment law, passed in March 2007, seeks to address some of the concerns of foreign and domestic investors. Indonesia still struggles with poverty and unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, corruption, a complex regulatory environment, and unequal resource distribution among regions. Indonesia has been slow to privatize over 100 state-owned enterprises, several of which have monopolies in key sectors.

Transnational Issues:

Indonesia has a stated foreign policy objective of establishing stable fixed land and maritime boundaries with all of its neighbours; Timor-Leste-Indonesia Boundary Committee has resolved all but a small portion of the land boundary, but discussions on maritime boundaries are stalemated over sovereignty of the uninhabited coral island of PulauBatek/Fatu Sinai in the north and alignment with Australian claims in the south; many refugees from Timor-Leste who left in 2003 still reside in Indonesia and refuse repatriation; a 1997 treaty between Indonesia and Australia settled some parts of their maritime boundary but outstanding issues remain; ICJ’s award of Sipadan and Ligitan islands to Malaysia in 2002 left the sovereignty of Unarang rock and the maritime boundary in the Ambalat oil block in the Celebes Sea in dispute; the ICJ decision has prompted Indonesia to assert claims to and to establish a presence on its smaller outer islands; Indonesia and Singapore continue to work on finalization of their 1973 maritime boundary agreement by defining unresolved areas north of Indonesia’s Batam Island; Indonesian secessionists, squatters, and illegal migrants create repatriation problems for Papua New Guinea; piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait; maritime delimitation talks continue with Palau; Indonesian groups challenge Australia’s claim to Ashmore Reef; Australia has closed parts of the Ashmore and Cartier Reserve to Indonesian traditional fishing and placed restrictions on certain catches