The Republic of Indonesia is a sovereign state located in south-east Asia. It is a collection of over 17,000 islands, about 6,000 of which are inhabited. Among the largest islands are Java, Sumatra, and Borneo, which is shared with Brunei and Malaysia. Indonesia is the world’s 15th largest country based on land area and the 7th largest country in terms of combined sea and land area. With an estimated population of around 250 million people, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country and its capital, Jakarta, is the country’s largest city with approximately 9.6 million inhabitants. 58 percent of Indonesia’s population lives in Java, which is the world’s most populous island. As a result of the decrease in the fertility rate and an increase in the country’s life expectancy, the average age of Indonesia’s population has risen in recent years and is expected to reach 28.4 years in 2015.
Since the turn of the millennium, a strengthening of democratic processes has occurred in Indonesia, leading to a regional autonomy program and the first direct presidential election in 2004. The elected president of Indonesia is the head of state and head of government who appoints a council of ministers to serve under him. The highest representative body at national level is the People’s Consultative Assembly, whose main function is to support and amend the constitution and outline state policy.
Indonesia’s economy is the largest in Southeast Asia and the 17th largest in the world based on nominal GDP. The country is a member of the G-20 major economies and is classified as a newly industrialized country. It has a market economy in which the government presides over state-owned enterprises and the administration of prices of a range of basic goods. Since 2012, Indonesia has emerged as the second fastest growing G-20 major economy just behind China and its GDP growth rate has remained consistently over 6 percent since 2010.
Industry is the largest contributor to Indonesia’s economy and it held a share of 45.69 percent of the country’s GDP in 2013. The industry sector includes oil and gas manufacturing and construction. Although agriculture accounts for less than 15 percent of the country’s GDP, over 35 percent of the population are employed in this sector and more than 43 percent are employed in the services industry. The estimated unemployment rate in 2014 was the lowest for a decade with 6 percent of the population out of work. Among Indonesia’s biggest export partners are Japan and China and the country’s export of goods was valued at around 183 billion U.S. dollars in 2013. The tourism industry is also an important component of the Indonesian economy, with an estimated 8.8 million tourists visiting the country in 2013. Many of the visitors come from nearby Singapore and Malaysia, although a significant number also come from Europe and the United States.