Indonesia, formally the Republic of Indonesia, is a sovereign multicontinental nation that is mainly located in Southeast Asia with some areas in Oceania. It is located between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and with over 13,000 islands is the largest island country in the world. The country has an estimated population of more than 260 million (September 2016) and it is the fourth most populous country in the world, the most populous Austronesian nation as well as the most populated country where the majority of the population is Muslim. The most populous island of Java in the world has more than half of the country’s population.
The republican form of government in Indonesia consists of an elected legislature and a president. There are 34 provinces in Indonesia, of which 5 have a special administrative status. Jakarta is the country’s capital and the most populous city. The country borders on Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the eastern part of Malaysia. In addition, it borders Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Palau and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia has been a founding participant of ASEAN and is also a member of the G-20’s major economies. The Indonesian economy is the 16th in the world in terms of nominal GDP and eighth in terms of PPP GDP.
Indonesia has been a significant trading area since the 7th century, during which time Srivijaya and later Majapahit have been trading with China and India. Local rulers gradually adopted the foreign cultural, religious and political models of the early centuries after Christ and the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesia’s history was influenced by foreign powers attracted by its natural resources. Muslim merchants and Sufi scholars brought the now dominant Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and struggled to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of the Moluccas in the Age of Discovery. After 3.5 centuries of Dutch colonialism, beginning with Amboina and Batavia, and eventually the entire archipelago, including Timor and West Papua, which was sometimes interrupted by Portuguese, French and British domination, Indonesia gained independence after World War II. Since that time, Indonesia’s history continues to be turbulent, with many challenges from natural disasters, massacres, corruption, separatism, a process of democratization and periods of rapidly changing economies.
Indonesia consists of hundreds of different indigenous ethnic and linguistic groups. The largest and most politically dominant ethnic group is the Javanese. A common national identity has been developed, which is defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, and religious pluralism within a predominantly Muslim community and a history of both colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia’s national motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (“Unity in diversity”, literally “many but one”) expresses the diversity that characterizes the country. Although Indonesia has a large population and densely populated regions, it also boasts vast wilderness areas that are home to the world’ second highest biodiversity. Indonesia is rich in natural resources such as oil and natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Agriculture produces mainly rice, tea, coffee, spices and rubber. Indonesia’s main trading partners are neighboring Japan, the USA and Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
Tourism in Indonesia
Nature and culture are important components of Indonesian tourism. The natural heritage has a unique combination of a tropical climate, a huge archipelago and a long stretch of beach. All of these natural attractions are combined with a rich cultural heritage which reflects Indonesia’s vibrant history and its ethnic diversity. Some of Indonesia’s most popular cultural tourist destinations include the ancient temples of Prambanan and Borobudur, Toraja and Bali with their Hindu festivals.
Indonesia is blessed with a well-preserved natural ecosystem of tropical rainforests, that covers approximately 57% of Indonesia’s land (225 million acres). The forests of Sumatra and Kalimantan are examples of popular tourist destinations such as the Orang Utan nature reserve. In addition, Indonesia has one of the longest coasts in the world, 54,716 kilometers.
Indonesia has 20% of all coral reefs in the world, more than 3,000 different species of fish and more than 600 species of coral, deep water trenches, volcanic mountains, WWII wrecks and an enormous variety of macro life , and Indonesia is excellent and inexpensive in terms of scuba diving. In Bunaken National Marine Park in the far north of Sulawesi, over 70% of all known fish species exist in the Indo-Western Pacific Ocean. According to Conservation International, marine studies indicate that the diversity of marine life in the Raja Ampat Islands is the highest on earth. There are also more than 3,500 different species that inhabit Indonesian waters, including sharks, dolphins, manta rays, turtles, moray eels, squid, cuttlefish and scorpions, compared to 1,500 in the Great Barrier Reef.
Indonesia has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Komodo National Park, Bali Cultural Landscape, Ujung Kulon National Park, Lorentz National Park and Sumatra Rainforest Heritage. includes 3 national parks on the island of Sumatra: Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park; and 18 World Heritage Sites on a preliminary list, such as the historic centers of Jakarta’s Old City, the ancient coal city of Sawahlunto, the Old City of Semarang and the Muara Takus Complex Site.
Cultural tourism focuses on specific interests in Indonesian history, such as the colonial architectural heritage of the Dutch East India era. Activities include visits to museums, churches, fortresses and historic colonial buildings as well as some overnight stays in hotels with colonial heritage. Famous tourist attractions are Old Jakarta and the Javanese royal courts of Yogyakarta, Surakarta and Mangkunegaran.
The island of Bali received the award for the best travel and leisure island in 2010. The island of Bali was awarded for its attractive surroundings (mountains and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international restaurants and dining facilities and friendliness. of the local population. Recognized as one of the best islands in the world, Bali is second only to Santorini, Greece, according to BBC Travel. Bali is one of the best surfing destinations in the world, with popular spots along the south coast and around the island off Nusa Lembongan. As part of the Coral Triangle, Bali including Nusa Penida offers a wide variety of dive sites with different types of coral reefs.
Tourist activities in the city include shopping, sightseeing in major cities or exploring modern theme parks, resorts, spas, nightlife and entertainment. Indonesia’s beautiful miniature park, Anchol Dreamland with the theme park Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy World) and Atlantis Water Adventure are Jakarta’s answer to Disneyland-style water park and amusement park. The capital Jakarta is a commercial center in Southeast Asia. The city has many traditional markets and shopping centers. With a total of 550 hectares, Jakarta has the world’s largest shopping center in one city. The annual “Big Jakarta Sale” takes place every year in June and July to celebrate Jakarta’s birthday. Bandung is a popular fashion shopping destination for Malaysians and Singaporeans.
Wonderful Indonesia has been the motto of an international marketing campaign by the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism to promote tourism since January 2011. More than 10.4 million international visitors traveled to Indonesia in 2015, stayed an average of 8.5 nights in hotels while spending an average of 1,190 USD per person.
People in Indonesia
Although Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (“Unity in Diversity”) has been the official national motto for more than 50 years, their concept of “Indonesia” still remains an artificial one and the people of Indonesia are divided into a large number of different ethnic groups and communities. tribes. clans, and even castes. If that is not enough, religious differences add a volatile ingredient to the mix, and great differences in wealth also strengthen a class society. In purely numerical terms, the largest ethnic groups are the Javanese (45%) in Central and East Java, who enjoy unjust dominance throughout the country, and the Sundans (14%) in West Java. Java, the Madurans of the island of Madura and the Malaysian (7.5%), mainly of Sumatra. This leaves 26% for the Aceh and Minangkabau of Sumatra, the Balinese, the Iban and the Dayak of Kalimantan and a confusing patchwork of groups in Nusa Tenggara and Papua – the official figure is no less than 3,000.
For the most part, many Indonesian peoples live happily together, but ethnic conflicts continue to rage in some remote areas of the country. The transmigration policy (transmigrasi) initiated by the Dutch but continued by Suharto has resettled Javanese, Balinese and mature migrants to less populated areas of the archipelago. The new settlers, who were considered privileged and insensitive, were often felt by the indigenous population, and especially in Kalimantan and Papua this sometimes led to violent conflict.
The Indonesian Chinese, known as Tionghoa or Cina, are a particularly notable ethnic group throughout the country. At around 6-7 million, they make up 3% of the population and represent one of the largest Chinese ethnic groups outside China. The Dutch encouraged the Indonesian Chinese to settle in the then Dutch East Indies, although they were treated as second-class citizens, making them middle managers between European leaders and the rest of the population. . After the Dutch left, many Indonesian Chinese worked as merchants and moneylenders, but a very wealthy subgroup of the community exerted an enormous influence on the local economic sector, with a famous, if largely discredited, “black market” in the East Indies. A study of companies listed on the Jakarta Stock Exchange found that up to 70% of their businesses (and thus of the country) are controlled by ethnic Chinese. They were therefore persecuted, with Chinese being forcibly displaced into urban areas in the 1960s and forced to adopt Indonesian names and bans on teaching Chinese and displaying Chinese characters. Anti-Chinese pogroms also took place, particularly during the anti-Communist purges of 1965-1966 after the Suharto coup and again in 1998 after his fall, when more than 1,100 people were killed in riots in the U.S. Jakarta and other major cities. However, the governments after the reform have repealed most of the discriminatory laws, and Chinese script and festivals have reappeared, and Chinese New Year has been declared a national holiday since 2003. While most Chinese do not speak Javanese In addition to Indonesian, many Chinese in Sumatra and Kalimantan continue to speak different Chinese dialects. Until today many people are still angry and sometimes even threatened by the alleged rule of the Chinese.
However, in the elections for the new governor of Jakarta in October 2014, often known by his affectionate Chinese nickname Hakka d’Ahok, a sign of a new climate of greater tolerance can be seen. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, to give him his real Indonesian name, was not born in Java and is only the second Christian to be governor of Jakarta. His courageous fights against corruption and transparent honesty have earned him the love of many locals.
Geography of Indonesia
Indonesia is situated between latitudes 11° S and 6° N with longitude 95° E and longitude 141° E. Indonesia is the world’ s largest archipelago country stretching 5,120 kilometers (3,181 miles) from east to west and 1,760 kilometers from north to south. According to a geodata study conducted between 2007 and 2010 by the National Agency for the Coordination of Studies and Mapping (Bakosurtanal), Indonesia has 13,466 islands, of which about 6,000 are inhabited. These are scattered on both sides of the equator. The most important are Java, Sumatra, Borneo (together with Brunei and Malaysia), New Guinea (together with Papua New Guinea) and Sulawesi. Indonesia borders Malaysia in Borneo, Papua New Guinea on the island of New Guinea and East Timor on the island of Timor. The Indonesia has maritime borders with Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Palau to the north and Australia to the south. The capital Jakarta is located on Java and is the largest city in the country, followed by Surabaya, Bandung, Medan and Semarang.
Indonesia is the 15th largest country in the world in terms of land area with 1,919,440 square kilometers and the 7th largest country in the world in terms of combined land and sea area. Indonesia’s average density is 134 inhabitants per square kilometer (347 per square mile) and is ranked 79th in the world, although Java, the most populous island in the world, has a population density of 940 inhabitants per square kilometer (2,435 per square mile). square mile).
Puncak Jaya in Papua is the highest mountain in Indonesia at 4,884 meters and Lake Toba in Sumatra is the largest lake with an area of 1,145 square kilometers. Indonesia’s largest rivers are in Kalimantan and include the Mahakam and the Barito. These rivers are communication and transport links between the river settlements on the island.
Indonesia’s location on the edges of the tectonic plates of the Pacific, Eurasia and Australia makes it the site of many volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. Indonesia has over 150 active volcanoes, most notably Krakatoa and Tambora, both famous for their catastrophic 19th century eruptions. The eruption of the super volcano Toba about 70,000 years ago was one of the largest eruptions in history and a global catastrophe. Recent earthquake disasters include the 2004 tsunami that killed 167,736 people in northern Sumatra and the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake. volcanic ash, however, contributes significantly to agricultural fertility. historically high, it supported the high population density of Java and Bali.
Indonesia lies on the equator and has a tropical climate with two different wet and dry monsoon seasons. Average annual rainfall ranges from 1,780 to 3,175 millimeters (70.1 to 125 inches) in the lowlands and up to 6,100 millimeters (240 inches) in the mountain regions. Mountain regions, especially on the west coast of Sumatra, West Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua, receive the highest rainfall. Humidity is generally high, averaging 80%. Temperatures hardly vary throughout the year. Jakarta’s average daily temperature range is 26-30°C (79-86°F).
Biodiversity of Indonesia
The size of Indonesia, combined with its tropical climate and archipelagic geography, supports the second highest level of biodiversity in the world after Brazil. Indonesia’s flora and fauna is a combination of Asian and Australasian species. The Sunda Plateau islands (Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Bali) used to be linked to the Asian continent and are home to a rich Asian fauna. The larger animals such as the tiger, rhinoceros, orangutan, elephant and leopard used to be abundant as far away as Bali, but now their numbers and distribution have declined considerably. Forests cover about 60% of the country. In Sumatra and Kalimantan they are mainly Asian species. However, the smaller and more densely populated forests of Java have been largely cleared for human habitation and agriculture. Having long been separated from the mainland, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara and Maluku have developed their own unique flora and fauna. Papua was part of the Australian landmass and is home to unique flora and fauna closely related to that of Australia, including more than 600 species of birds.
Indonesia ranks second behind Australia in terms of total endemic species, with 36% of its 1,531 known bird species as well as 39% of its 515 known endemic mammal species. The 80,000 kilometers (50,000 miles) of Indonesia’s coastline is embraced by tropical seas which contribute significantly to the country’s very high level of biodiversity. Indonesia is blessed with a wide range of coastal and marine ecosystems, which includes beaches, sand dunes, estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, coastal mudflats, mudflats, seaweed beds as well as small island ecosystems. Indonesia is among the countries of the Coral Triangle with the world’s highest diversity of coral Reef Fish with over 1,650 species in Eastern Indonesia area alone.
British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described a dividing line between the distribution of Asian and Australasian species in Indonesia. Known as the Wallace Line, it runs roughly north to south along the edge of the Sunda Plateau between Kalimantan and Sulawesi, and along the deep Strait of Lombok between Lombok and Bali. On the western side of the line, the flora and fauna is more Asian – east of Lombok, it becomes more and more Australian. In his 1869 book, The Malay Archipelago, Wallace describes many species unique to the region. The area of the islands between his lineage and New Guinea is now called Wallacea.
Demographics of Indonesia
According to the 2010 census, Indonesia has 237.6 million inhabitants, with a strong population growth of 1.9%. 58% of the population lives in Java, the most populous island in the world. In 1961, the first post-colonial census reported a total population of 97 million people.
Indonesia currently has a relatively young population with an average age of 28.2 years (2011 estimate).
The population is expected to reach 269 million by 2020 and 321 million by 2050. 8 million Indonesians live abroad, making it one of the largest diasporas in the world. Most of them settled in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, the Netherlands, the United States and Australia.
Ethnic groups in Indonesia
Indonesia is a country with great ethnic and linguistic diversity, with around 300 different indigenous ethnic groups and 742 different languages and dialects. Most Indonesians are descended from Austronesian-speaking peoples, whose languages go back to Proto-Austronesian and may have originated in Taiwan. Another important group is the Melanesians, who live in eastern Indonesia.
As the largest ethnic group, Javanese represent 42% of the total population with a dominant political and cultural position. Sundanese, Malay and elderly are the largest non-Javanese groups. Besides strong regional identities, there is a sense of Indonesian nationality.
Social, religious and ethnic tensions triggered violence in the community. Chinese Indonesians are an influential ethnic minority, accounting for 3-4 % of the population. Much of the country’s private trade and wealth is controlled by China and Indonesia. Chinese companies in Indonesia are part of the Greater Bamboo Network, a network of foreign Chinese companies operating in Southeast Asian markets and sharing family and cultural ties. This has contributed to considerable resentment and even violence against the Chinese.
Religion in Indonesia
While freedom of religion is laid down in the Indonesian constitution, the government officially recognizes only six religions: Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. With 87.2% in 2010, Indonesia is the most populous country with a Muslim majority in the world, with the majority being Sunni Muslims (99%). Shiites and Ahmadis make up 0.5% and 0.2% of the Muslim population respectively.
Christianity made up almost 10% of the population in 2010 (7% were Protestant, 2.9% Roman Catholic), 1.7% of Hindus and 0.9% of Buddhists or others. The majority of Indonesian Hindus are Balinese and the majority of Buddhists in Indonesia today are of Chinese descent.
Although they are now minority religions, Hinduism and Buddhism continue to dominate Indonesian culture. Islam was first adopted by Indonesians in North Sumatra in the 13th century thanks to the influence of the merchants and became the dominant religion in the country in the 16th century.
Roman Catholicism was introduced to Indonesia by the early Portuguese colonialists and missionaries, and Protestant denominations are largely the result of Dutch and Lutheran Reformed missionary efforts during the country’s colonial period. A significant percentage of Indonesians, including the Javanese Abangan, Balinese Hindus and Dayak Christians, are practicing a less orthodox and syncretistic approach to their religion which is based on local traditions and beliefs.
Most indigenous Indonesian indigenous beliefs could be classified as animism, shamanism and ancestor worship. Examples of Indonesian indigenous belief systems are the Sunda Wiwitan of Sundanese, the Kaharingan faith of Dayak and Parmalim of Batak, and to some extent the Kejawen faith of Java. There are also a number of indigenous deities and ancestor worship in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua.
Economy of Indonesia
Indonesia have a mixed economy with both private sector and government having an important role. The country is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and a member of G-20. Indonesia’s estimated gross domestic product (nominal) in 2016 was USD 936.955 billion, while GDP in PPP was USD 3.010 trillion. It is the sixteenth largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP and the eighth largest in terms of GDP (PPP). From 2016, GDP per capita in PPPs will be USD 11,633 (international dollars), while nominal GDP per capita will be USD 3,620.
The debt to GDP ratio is 26%. The services sectors represent the biggest part of the economy, generating 43.3% of GDP (2016), being followed by manufacturing (42.9%) and agriculture (13.7%). As from 2012, the service sectors provided more jobs than other sectors. In 2014, 44.8% of the entire working population were employed in the service sector, being followed by agriculture (34.3%) and industrial sector (20.9%). However, agriculture has been the country’s largest employer for centuries.
In 2014, Indonesia was the 25th largest exporting country in the world, rising to fifth place in the world over the past five years. Over the period 2009-2014, Indonesia’s exports increased by 7.3% on an annual basis from $138 billion in 2009 to $197 billion in 2014. Recent exports are led by coal briquettes, which account for 10.1% of total exports, followed by palm oil (8.85%), petroleum gas (8.63%), crude oil (4.92%) and rubber (2.75%). Indonesia’s main export markets (2014) are Japan (12.64%), China (10.56%), the USA (9.54%), Singapore (9.49%) and India (6.9%). The main suppliers of imports to Indonesia are China (18.26%), Singapore (14.38%), Japan (8.65%), South Korea (6.52%) and Malaysia (5.96%). In 2014 Indonesia had a trade surplus with export earnings of $197 billion and import expenditure of $178 billion.
The country has significant natural reserves, including crude oil, natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Indonesia’s major imports include machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuel and food. Indonesia’s most significant export products include oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, rubber and textiles. In order to boost the domestic mineral processing industry and to promote the export of mineral products with higher added value, the Indonesian government introduced an export ban on unprocessed mineral ores in 2014.
The production of palm oil is vital to the Indonesian economy, since the country is the world’s largest manufacturer and consumer of this commodity and provides approximately half of the world supply. Oil palm plantations extend over 6 million hectares (about twice the size of Belgium). Indonesia plans to allocate an additional 4 million hectares for the production of oil palm biofuels by 2015. By 2012, Indonesia will produce 35 percent of the world’s certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO).
The tourism sector contributes to foreign exchange revenues of around $10.1 billion in 2013 and is the fourth largest export sector for goods and services. In Indonesia the top five tourist visitors are from Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, China and Japan.
Corruption has been a persistent problem. For example, Transparency International has now ranked Indonesia below 100 in its Corruption Perceptions Index. Since 2007, national economic growth has accelerated to over 6% per year as the banking sector and domestic consumption improved, helping Indonesia to weather the major recession of 2008-2009. The Indonesian economy developed strongly during the financial crisis of 2007/08 and its GDP grew by over 6% in 2012. Indonesia regained its investment grade rating at the end of 2011 after losing in 1997. From 2014, 11% of the population lived below the poverty line and the official open unemployment rate was 5.9%.
Indonesia has a substantial automotive industry, producing nearly 1.3 million vehicles in 2014, making it the 15th largest manufacturer in the world. Today, Indonesian automotive companies are able to produce cars with a high percentage of local content (80% – 90%). With a peak of 14.5 billion packages in 2011, Indonesia is the second largest producer of instant noodles after China, producing 42.5 billion packages annually. Indonesia is the world’ s largest producer of instant noodles. Indofood’s Indomie brand represents one of Indonesia’s most recognized global brands.
Of the 500 largest companies in the world in terms of sales in 2014, the Fortune Global 500, two have their headquarters in Indonesia, i.e. Pertamina and Perusahaan Listrik Negara.