Indonesia is an archipel with more than 17500 islands (6000 being uninhabited). The largest islands are Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Papuasia and Java, where 70% of the population is living. Indonesia is sharing the New Guinea Island with Papuasia New Guinea and 2/3 of Borneo Island with Malaysia and Brunei.

Indonesia has been a large commercial trade area since the 7th Century, when trade relations were first established with China. It's history has been marked by foreign influences: indian, muslim and european. First trade relations with China. Indonesia was a Dutch colony during 3 centuries and a half. It became independent after World War II.

With 240 millions inhabitants, Indonesia is the fourth most populated country after China, India and the United States. It also represents the country with the largest muslim population.

Geographical situation:

  • Area: 1.919.440 km2

Map of Indonesia


  • Parliamentary Republic
  • President: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
  • Capital: Jakarta
  • National day: August 17th
  • Symbol:


  • Currency: Rupiah(IDR)
  • PIB: 510.800 Millions $
  • PIB/hab: 3.900 $
  • Growth rate:  5,5% (2007)
  • Unemployment rate (2008):8,2%


  • Population (2009):240.271.522 inhabitants


  • The official language is Bahasa Indonesia, deriving from malay. Bahasa indonesia is used by a large majority of indonesians but co-exists with numerous dialects such as Javanese.


  • Bouddhism, Hinduism, Islam

More information on the country:



Indonesia prides itself of a prestigious past  under the reign of Srivijaya, Sailendra, Mataram and Majapahit ancient dynasties which, from the 3rd to the 15th century with the arrival of Europeans, have ruled territories extending over the major part of South East Asia. Europeans were lured in Indonesia by spices trade and the strategic position of the archipelago.

1596: the first Dutch to settle in Java.

1824: London treaty: England and Holland splitshare the Malay world. Malaysia is integrated within England influence, whereas Indonesia goes to the Dutch.

1927: creation by Sukarno of the Indonesian Nationalist Party.

1942: Japanese invasion.

17 Août 1945- Independence proclaim of Indonesia (which will be recognized by the Dutch no sooner than in 1949).

1945-1967: Sukarno Era (Characterized by much inaction on the economic ground and intense diplomatical gesticulations).

1967-1998: Suharto Era (famous for its economic overture but plagued by corruption).

2004: First presidential election with a universal ballot. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is elected. He will be reelected in 2009 with more than 60% of the votes.





A huge and fragmented country, Indonesia is full of natural resources and was durably sustained by a prosperous agriculture. It's economy helds the 15th World Rank although it's Gross National Product per capita remains under 5000$ and a large part (16,6% in 2007) of the population live under the level of poverty.

Thanks to reforms initiated during the Suharto era, the Indonesian economy has been steadily growing at an average annual rate of 7%. But Indonesia was badly hit by the economic crisis in 1997 and was under much pressure with bombings and natural disasters (In Septembre 20th 2004, the Tsunami made next to 300000 casualties).

Indonesia has recently came back on the growth track. Thanks to the structure of it's economy, less dependent of the outer markets than it's neighbors, it was relatively saved from the current crisis.

In 2008, Growth reached 6,1%. Growth estimates are respectively 4,3% in 2009 and 5% in 2010.

Key sectors

Agriculture, mines, manufacturing products and wood exploitation.



A country with a large muslim majority (88% of the population), Indonesia is also influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism, for which, the Prambanan and Borodbudur temples, on the island of Java, are the prestigious testimonies.

Hindu and muslim influences are visible through muppets shows (Wayang), Music, dance craftmanship and martial arts.


Practical life

Clubs & associations

Alliance Française Denpasar Bali

Map of Indonesia

carte Indonésie, map of Indonesia

Employment in Indonesia

Jobs in Indonesia can mainly be found in the following sectors: Food, Health and Services. Tourism remains a major source of jobs.

  • Read the articles on employment and expatriation on the Bali tourisme website.

Visa to Indonesia

For long stay purposes in Indonesia, it is possible to apply for 2 types of visa.

The KITAS enables it's holder to get a provisary residential card. To obtain the KITAS, one is required to have a job and to obtain a provisory immigration authorization from  Jakarta. the KITAS is valid 1 year and can be renewed 4 times, with a 1200 $ tax and filinf fees to pay.

The second type of visa,KITAP, can be obtained when the KITAS has expired. It enables it's holder to get a permanent residential card, for a renewable period of 5 years.

Employment of spouses

Spouses of indonesian nationals can obtain the KITAS, which nevertheless doesn't authorize them to work. For doing so, they must find their own sponsor and apply for a work authorization. The same rules apply to the expatriates' spouses.


For more information on Spouses'rights in Indonesia, visit the Permits Foundation website, a foundation to promote spouses rights to exert a professional activity in their country of expatriation.

Work regulation

Indonesian companies


Antam - Mining and metals transformation

APP- Asia Pulp Paper- Pulp and paper

Astra International- a large conglomerate, initially in Trading, now a 126000+ employees diversified in automotive, finance, energy, agriculture, IT & Transportation

Chandra Asri - Petrochemicals
Careers (link Jobstreet)

Garuda Indonesia - Air transportation

Indofood - Food industries

Bank mandiri - Banking
►Careers (lien jobstreet)

Martha Tilaar Group - Cosmetics

Petromina - Energy Petrol & gas

Semen Gresik- Cement
Human Resources

Telkom - Telecommunications



Starting a business

Creating one's own activity is a good solution for those who want to take advantage of their expatriation to start or pursue an entrepreneur career.
More informations: Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board.

the official website of the Indonesian Government for investments. Useful indications, especially regarding companies and contracts laws.