Archipelago of about 13,700 islands, it stretches for almost 5000 km from west to east and for 2000 km from north to south with an area of 1,919,443 km 2 (including Timor, annexed in 1976). The position between Asia and Australia makes it a natural bridge of great geological and biological importance and, despite the internal socio-political conditions, a key country for the balance of the Southeast Asian chessboard. By extension they dominate the large islands of Borneo (whose Indonesian part, Kalimantan, is 539,460 km 2), Sumatra (473,606 km 2), New Guinea (of which the western half is Indonesian: Irian Jaya, 421,981 km 2), Celebes (Sulawesi: 189,216 km 2) and Java (132,187 km 2); moreover, it includes entire archipelagos, such as the Moluccas (Maluku) and the Sunda islands, and thousands of smaller islands, mostly uninhabited, many with typical atollar characteristics, such as the Pulau Seribu, whose name means A Thousand Islands.
Placed astride the equator, the Indonesia it has a rather diversified climate due to the influence of the monsoon, especially in the east, but also due to particular local factors (altitude, seaworthiness, macro-exposure, etc.). In fact, although the average annual temperature is around 26 ° C, rainfall decreases towards the east from 4400 mm in Sumatra to 1400 mm in Timor (but in the eastern part of Java it drops below 1000 mm), so that we often pass through the forest rainwater to the tropical forest or to the rice paddy landscape where, as in Java, the human load is very high and the spontaneous vegetation has undergone a massive reduction.
Between the end of the 1970s and the early 1980s, the Indonesia it has experienced the largest voluntary repopulation in the world, which has resulted in over 500,000 families leaving Java and Bali for new settlements in Sumatra or Kalimantan. The project, supported by the World Bank, underlines the gravity of the demographic problem distinguished by increases of more than 2% per year (in the period 1984-89, 2.1%) and by the unequal distribution (the density goes from 813 residents / km 2of Java to 78 of Sumatra, 16 of Kalimantan and 4 of Irian Jaya). The birth rate remains at 28 ‰ while mortality has dropped to 7.9 ‰, and the population, at the 1980 census, was 146.935.000 residents, While at the 1990 census it had risen to 179.321.640 residents, In prevalence Indonesians and mostly Muslims (87%). Other religions are Christian (9%), Hindu (in Bali), Buddhist and animist. Indonesian is the official language, spoken by more than 80% of the population. The assets are just under 76,000,000, 55% employed in agriculture, 13% in industry, 30% in services; the remaining 2% is awaiting employment.
Jakarta, with its peripheral kampung, has over 9 million residents. and continues to welcome people from inland and from other islands. Located north-west of Java, it occupies a depression near the coast, which when the Dutch arrived was swampy and malarial. Today, modern in the center, it is surrounded by a boundless band of huts, without social services and subjected to frequent flooding. Other cities with over a million residents they are Surabaya, also on the island of Java, with its very active port, Medan on the island of Sumatra, Bandung on the island of Java, home to an important university, and Semerang, the capital of Central Java. Almost 800,000 inhabited. also Palembang in Sumatra and Ujungpandang in Sulawesi.
Economic conditions. – Presidential Republic, with Indonesia Suharto, Indonesia it has developed a pro-Western foreign policy and a five-year planned economy. The development plan for the five-year period 1979-83 (Repelita iii) already proposed the rebalancing of wealth, the reduction of population growth, the demographic decongestion of the overcrowded island of Java, the increase in agricultural production and the export of non-petroleum products and, finally, the promotion of small industry. These objectives, also accepted in Repelita iv(1984-88), which emphasizes the need for new industrial and agricultural projects, as well as the improvement of infrastructures and social services, confirm the immense difficulties in overcoming the endemic backwardness posed by the Indonesia among the last countries not only of the ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations), but of the world. For Indonesia economics and business, please check businesscarriers.com.
With a per capita income of $ 570 per year (1990 figure, according to estimates made by the World Bank). it still belongs to the group of low-income economies. Despite the great progress of the primary sector, the contribution of agriculture to total income has significantly reduced (in 1990 it was just over 20%): this is a typical consequence of the strengthening of the other productive sectors. The industrial sector, on the other hand, has jumped to 40% (it was 13% in 1965), even if the manufacturing industry accounts for only 17%; the remaining 38% is provided by services. The country’s foreign debt is very high: it was over 67,000 million dollars in 1990.
Strong impetus was given to agriculture and in particular to food crops, so that today 11% of the country’s surface is cultivated. The possibility of going up the fertile flanks of the volcanoes allows to differentiate the production, from tropical to temperate crops. Terraced rice cultivation dominates, covering 10,304,000 ha, followed by the cultivation of maize, cassava and sweet potato. Among the oil plants, in addition to the oil palm, both peanuts and soy are widespread. Almost all of the cane sugar comes from Java (18,170,000 q), but tea and coffee are also mainly grown on this island. Spices and rubber come from the plantations, of which Indonesians are the second largest producer (after Malaysia). The forest covers 60% of the country’s surface and supplies precious woods such as teak, ebony, sandalwood and bamboo. Indonesia is one of the main producers and exporters of processed wood, and the cutting of the forest continues at a fast pace, giving rise to many environmental concerns. Breeding and fishing have also received impetus, bringing the cattle herd to exceed 10 million heads, plus 3.4 million buffaloes and 10.8 million goats, 5.7 million sheep and 6.6 millions of pigs. Coastal and inland fishing has been enhanced with the expansion of fish farming techniques.
Oil, tin and bauxite are the main resources of the soil. The first, extracted in Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan, alone represents 70% of the value of exports and ensures 2/3 of the state budget. Added to these are coal from Sumatra and Kalimantan, manganese from Java and nickel from Sulawesi. Industry is linked to the mining sector (refineries, cement factories, fertilizer industries, tin and aluminum metallurgy), while the manufacturing framework is still lacking (textiles, tires, paper mills, tobacco manufacturing, auto assembly).
The communications problem remains the same despite the development of maritime and air transport (these have allowed a strong tourist current from Europe and Australia). Virtually only Java has a railway line that crosses the island from Jakarta to Surabaya and only here is there a sufficiently modernized and articulated road network. Despite this, the railways are developed for 6900 km and the roads for about 200,000.