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.
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
degree of risk: high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: chikungunya, dengue fever, and malaria note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)
30 provinces (propinsi-propinsi, singular - propinsi), 2 special regions* (daerah-daerah istimewa, singular - daerah istimewa), and 1 special capital city district** (daerah khusus ibukota); Aceh*, Bali, Banten, Bengkulu, Gorontalo, Jakarta Raya**, Jambi, Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Tengah, Kalimantan Timur, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, Kepulauan Riau, Lampung, Maluku, Maluku Utara, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Papua, Papua Barat (Irian Jaya Barat), Riau, Sulawesi Barat, Sulawesi Selatan, Sulawesi Tengah, Sulawesi Tenggara, Sulawesi Utara, Sumatera Barat, Sumatera Selatan, Sumatera Utara, Yogyakarta* note: following the implementation of decentralization beginning on 1 January 2001, the 440 districts or regencies have become the key administrative units responsible for providing most government services
chief of state: President Susilo Bambang YUDHOYONO (since 20 October 2004); Vice President Muhammad Yusuf KALLA (since 20 October 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Susilo Bambang YUDHOYONO (since 20 October 2004); Vice President Muhammad Yusuf KALLA (since 20 October 2004) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president elections: president and vice president were elected for five-year terms (eligible for a second term) by direct vote of the citizenry; last held 20 September 2004 (next to be held in 2009) election results: Susilo Bambang YUDHOYONO elected president receiving 60.6% of vote; MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri received 39.4%
House of Representatives or Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) (550 seats; members elected to serve five-year terms); House of Regional Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah or DPD), constitutionally mandated role includes providing legislative input to DPR on issues affecting regions; People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat or MPR) has role in inaugurating and impeaching president and in amending constitution; consists of popularly-elected members in DPR and DPD; MPR does not formulate national policy elections: last held 5 April 2004 (next to be held in 2009) election results: percent of vote by party - Golkar 21.6%, PDI-P 18.5%, PKB 10.6%, PPP 8.2%, PD 7.5%, PKS 7.3%, PAN 6.4%, others 19.9%; seats by party - Golkar 128, PDI-P 109, PPP 58, PD 55, PAN 53, PKB 52, PKS 45, others 50 note: because of election rules, the number of seats won does not always follow the percentage of votes received by parties
Supreme Court or Mahkamah Agung (justices appointed by the president from a list of candidates selected by the legislature); a separate Constitutional Court or Mahkamah Konstitusi was invested by the president on 16 August 2003; in March 2004 the Supreme Court assumed administrative and financial responsibility for the lower court system from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights; Labor Court under supervision of Supreme Court began functioning in January 2006
Crescent Moon and Star Party or PBB [MS KABAN]; Democratic Party or PD [Hadi UTOMO]; Functional Groups Party or Golkar [Yusuf KALLA]; Indonesia Democratic Party-Struggle or PDI-P [MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri]; National Awakening Party or PKB [MUHAIMIN Iskander]; National Mandate Party or PAN [Sutrisno BACHIR]; Prosperous Justice Party or PKS [Tifatul SEMBIRING]; United Development Party or PPP [Suryadharma ALI]
chief of mission: Ambassador SUDJADNAN Parnohadiningrat chancery: 2020 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 telephone:  (202) 775-5200 FAX:  (202) 775-5365 consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
chief of mission: Ambassador Cameron R. HUME embassy: Jalan 1 Medan Merdeka Selatan 4-5, Jakarta 10110 mailing address: Unit 8129, Box 1, FPO AP 96520 telephone:  (21) 3435-9000 FAX:  (21) 3435-9922 consulate(s) general: Surabaya
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 3 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. The non-bank financial sector, including pension funds and insurance, remains weak. Capital markets are underdeveloped. The high global price of oil in 2007 increased the cost of domestic fuel and electricity subsidies, and are contributing to concerns about higher food prices. Located on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" Indonesia remains vulnerable to volcanic and tectonic disasters. Significant progress has been made in rebuilding Aceh after the devastating December 2004 tsunami, and the province now shows more economic activity than before the disaster. Unfortunately, Indonesia suffered new disasters in 2006 and early 2007 including: a major earthquake near Yogyakarta, an industrial accident in Sidoarjo, East Java that created a "mud volcano," a tsunami in South Java, and major flooding in Jakarta, all of which caused additional damages in the billions of dollars. Donors are assisting Indonesia with its disaster mitigation and early warning efforts.
ODA, $2.524 billion (2006 est.) note: Indonesia ended 2006 with $67 billion in official foreign debt (about 25% of GDP), with Japan ($25 billion), the World Bank ($8.5 billion) and the Asian Development Bank ($8.4 billion) as the largest creditors; about $6 billion in grant assistance was pledged to rebuild Aceh after the December 2004 tsunami; President YUDHOYONO disbanded the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) donor forum in January 2007 (2005)
general assessment: domestic service fair, international service good domestic: interisland microwave system and HF radio police net; domestic satellite communications system; coverage provided by existing network has been expanded by use of over 200,000 telephone kiosks many located in remote areas international: country code - 62; landing point for both the SEA-ME-WE-3 AND SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable networks that provide links throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean)
Indonesian Armed Forces (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, TNI): Army (TNI-Angkatan Darat (TNI-AD)), Navy (TNI-Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL); includes marines, naval air arm), Air Force (TNI-Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU)), National Air Defense Command (Kommando Pertahanan Udara Nasional (Kohanudnas)) (2008)
Indonesia has a stated foreign policy objective of establishing stable fixed land and maritime boundaries with all of its neighbors; 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 Pulau Batek/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
IDPs: 200,000-350,000 (government offensives against rebels in Aceh; most IDPs in Aceh, Central Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi Provinces, and Maluku), 300,000 (December 2006 floods in Aceh regions) (2006)