Indonesia Economy, History and Politics

Indonesia Economy, History and Politics



50 out of 100 Indonesians are still considered poor today, although the country has grown economically. In some regions the number is even higher. One problem is the growing inequality in the country. So there are some rich Indonesians while many people live in great poverty. The economy is growing, but not all Indonesians benefit from this economic growth. Indonesia has opened up to the free market. Not everything is dictated by the government, but there are still many companies that are owned by the state.

Consequences of industrial growth

Java is the economically most important island of the more than 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia. On Java, 60 out of 100 people live on percent of the total land area. Indonesia is very rich in natural resources and exports coal, tin, copper, bauxite and gold. The world’s largest gold mine is in Indonesia. When mining ores, the waste is often dumped into rivers, which in turn leads to environmental damage. If heavy metals get into the water, it has consequences for the drinking water. Humans can no longer drink the poisonous water, but fish also die and the water poisons the soil for agriculture. However, oil has to be imported in the meantime because not as much oil is produced and the demand for energy increases as the industry grows. MostExports go to Japan, China and Singapore, but also to the USA.


As a country located in Asia according to neovideogames, Indonesia exports agricultural products such as palm oil, spices, soy, rubber, cocoa, tea, coffee and tobacco. 36 out of 100 Indonesians are employed in agriculture, with rice being the most important product. A large part of this is also grown on the island of Java. The increasing cultivation of oil palms, from the fruits of which palm oil is extracted, is problematic. To make room for the plantations, many forests have to give way and are being cleared. Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable fat in the world, and its consumption has doubled in the last 20 years. The WWF estimates that almost every other product you buy in the supermarket contains palm oil. You can find it not only in detergents or cosmetics, but also in many chocolate bars, in ice cream or even in pizza. And Indonesia is the country that produces the most palm oil in the world, half of that oil comes from there.

Industry and service

In industry, the production of food is important, but so is the production of clothing or leather. Tourism in Indonesia is also growing. There is now even a separate minister for this area who is only responsible for tourism. This will create new jobs and secure income for families. This is how many people work in the field of services. This means that they offer their job performance. You work as a salesperson or in restaurants and hotels. However, many children under the age of 18 also work in these areas and are mostly exploited.

History and Politics

From the settlement to the colonization of Indonesia

The island of Java, part of what is now Indonesia, was settled 1.8 million years ago. Several kingdoms developed over time. For a long time the region was mainly influenced by Indian, but also by Arab influences. At the beginning of the modern age and at the time of the great explorers and seafarers, seafarers from Portugal found their way to the Indonesian islands and wanted to incorporate them into their domain. But they were not alone, another great seafaring nation, the Netherlands, also discovered Indonesia with its great treasures. So the traders came and with them the missionaries.

“Dutch East Indies” and its end

Above all, spices were of great interest, because they did not exist in Europe and a lot of money could be made with their sale. So it came about that what is now Indonesia became part of the Netherlands and for a long time bore the name “Dutch East Indies”. The Dutch ruled the islands for almost 350 years and shaped the culture of the people there.

During the Second World War, the country was occupied by the Japanese, who were allies of the German Empire. Japan and Germany lost the war and so the Japanese had to withdraw again and Indonesia became independent at the end of the Second World War. But it was not until 1949 that the Dutch left all the islands.

Overthrow of military rule

In 1968 a general named Haji Mohamed Suharto came to power and became President of Indonesia. For 30 years he ruled the country with his military. It wasn’t until 1998 that he was overthrown.

Joko Widodo has been President of Indonesia since 2014.

Indonesia History