officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia ), is a country in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the world’s largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands, and at 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles), the 14th largest by land area and the 7th largest in combined sea and land area. With over 261 million people, it is the world’s 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country.Java, the world’s most populous island,is home to more than half of the country’s population.
The sovereign state is a presidential, constitutional republic with an elected parliament. It has 34 provinces, of which five have special status. Jakarta, the country’s capital, is the second most populous urban area in the world. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support a high level of biodiversity.The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber. Indonesia’s major trading partners are China, United States, Japan, Singapore and India.
The history of the Indonesian archipelago has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. It has been an important region for trade since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with entities from mainland China and the Indian subcontinent. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Muslim traders and Sufi scholars brought Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolise trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Although sometimes interrupted by the Portuguese, French and British, the Dutch were the foremost European power for much of its 350-year presence in the archipelago. In early 20th century, the concept of “Indonesia” as a nation state emerged, and independence movements began to take shape. During the decolonisation of Asia after World War II, Indonesia achieved independence in 1949 following an armed and diplomatic conflict with the Netherlands.
Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups, with the largest—and politically dominant—ethnic group being the Javanese. A shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia’s national motto, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (“Unity in Diversity” literally, “many, yet one”), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Indonesia’s economy is the world’s 16th largest by nominal GDP and the 7th largest by GDP at PPP. Indonesia is a member of several multilateral organisations, including the UN, WTO, IMF and G20. It is also a founding member of Non-Aligned Movement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, East Asia Summit, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
The name Indonesia derives from the Greek name of the Indos (Ἰνδός) and the word nesos (νῆσος), meaning “Indian islands”. The name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia. In 1850, George Windsor Earl, an English ethnologist, proposed the terms Indunesians—and, his preference, Malayunesians—for the inhabitants of the “Indian Archipelago or Malayan Archipelago”. In the same publication, one of his students, James Richardson Logan, used Indonesia as a synonym for Indian Archipelago. However, Dutch academics writing in East Indies publications were reluctant to use Indonesia; they preferred Malay Archipelago (Maleische Archipel); the Netherlands East Indies (Nederlandsch Oost Indië), popularly Indië; the East (de Oost); and Insulinde.
After 1900, Indonesia became more common in academic circles outside the Netherlands, and native nationalist groups adopted it for political expression. Adolf Bastian, of the University of Berlin, popularised the name through his book Indonesien oder die Inseln des Malayischen Archipels, 1884–1894. The first native scholar to use the name was Ki Hajar Dewantara, when in 1913 he established a press bureau in the Netherlands, Indonesisch Pers-bureau.
Indonesia lies between latitudes 11°S and 6°N, and longitudes 95°E and 141°E. It is the largest archipelagic country in the world, extending 5,120 kilometres (3,181 mi) from east to west and 1,760 kilometres (1,094 mi) from north to south. According to the country’s Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, Indonesia has 17,504 islands (16,056 of which are registered at the UN), scattered over both sides of the equator, and with about 6,000 of them inhabited. The largest are Java, Sumatra, Borneo (shared with Brunei and Malaysia), Sulawesi, and New Guinea (shared with Papua New Guinea). Indonesia shares land borders with Malaysia on Borneo, Papua New Guinea on the island of New Guinea, and East Timor on the island of Timor, and maritime borders with Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Palau, and Australia.
At 4,884 metres (16,024 ft), Puncak Jaya is Indonesia’s highest peak, and Lake Toba in Sumatra is the largest lake, with an area of 1,145 km2 (442 sq mi). Indonesia’s largest rivers are in Kalimantan and New Guinea, and include Kapuas, Barito, Mamberamo, Sepik and Mahakam; such rivers are communication and transport links between the island’s river settlements.
Tourism contributes around US$28.2 billion to GDP in 2017.In the same year, Indonesia received 14.04 million visitors, a growth of 21.8% in one year, spending an average of US$2,009 per person during their visit. China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and Japan are the top five source of visitors to Indonesia. Since January 2011, Wonderful Indonesia has been the slogan of an international marketing campaign directed by the Ministry of Tourism to promote tourism.
Nature and culture are major attractions of Indonesian tourism. The former can boast a unique combination of tropical climate, vast archipelago and long stretch of beaches, and are complemented by a rich cultural heritage that reflects Indonesia’s dynamic history and ethnic diversity. Indonesia has a well-preserved natural ecosystem with rain forests that stretch over about 57% of Indonesia’s land (225 million acres). Forests on Sumatra and Kalimantan are examples of popular destinations, such as the Orangutan wildlife reserve. Moreover, Indonesia has one of world’s longest coastlines, measuring 54,716 kilometres (33,999 mi). The ancient Prambanan and Borobudur temples, Toraja and Bali, with its Hindu festivities, are some of the popular destinations for cultural tourism.
Indonesia has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Borobudur Temple Compounds and the Komodo National Park; and a further 19 in tentative list that includes the Jakarta Old Town, Bunaken National Park and Raja Ampat Islands. The heritage tourism is focused on specific interest on Indonesian history, such as colonial architectural heritage of the Dutch East Indies. Other activities include visiting museums, churches, forts and historical colonial buildings, as well as spending some nights in colonial heritage hotels. The popular heritage tourism attractions include the Jakarta Old Town and the royal Javanese courts of Yogyakarta, Surakarta and the Mangkunegaran.
The 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report ranks Indonesia 42nd out of 136 countries overall with a score of 4.2. It ranks the price competitiveness of Indonesia’s tourism sector the 5th out of 136 countries. It states that Indonesia has a strong visa policy and scored well on international openness (ranked 2nd and 17th respectively). The country also scores well on natural and cultural resources (ranked 17th and 23rd respectively).