Country Profile: Indonesia

Quick facts

Population (2016): 261 million

Size: 1,910,900 sqkm

Capital city: Jakarta

Year of independence: 1945

Currency: Indonesian rupiah (IDR). 1 NZD = 10,047 IDR as at March 2018

National airline: Garuda Indonesia


Official languages: Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)

Main ethnic groups (2010): Javanese (40.1%), Sundanese (15.5), Malay (3.7), Batak (3.6), Madurese (3), Betawi (2.9), Minangkabau (2.7), Buginese (2.7%), Bantenese (2), Banjarese (1.7), Balinese (1.7), Acehnese (1.4), Dayak (1.4), Sasak (1.3), Chinese (1.2), other (15)

Religion (2010): Muslim (87.2%), Protestant (7), Roman Catholic (2.9), Hindu (1.7), other (0.9) (includes Buddhist and Confucian)

Median age: 30.2 years

Average population growth: 1.1%

Fertility rate: 2.4

Life expectancy at birth (years): 69

Politics and institutions

System: Constitutional democracy

President: Joko Widodo

Vice President: Jusuf Kalla


Income level: Lower middle income

GDP: US$932 billion

GDP per capita (2016): US$3,570

GDP composition: Services (45.9%), Industry (40.3%), Agriculture (13.9%)


The media environment in Indonesia is diverse, with numerous national and local news outlets across the country. The government of Indonesia exercises limited control over the media, but has the ability to restrict the entry and movement of foreign journalists in certain areas of the country. Freedom House describes Indonesia as “partly free” but reports journalists self-censor for fear of defamation laws or harrassment.

National news agency:

Public broadcasting service:

National newspapers:

English-language newspapers

Bilateral relations

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, and the largest economy in Southeast Asia. But research shows  knowledge of Indonesia in New Zealand is comparatively low. 

New Zealand formally recognised the Republic of Indonesia in 1950, and the two countries established formal diplomatic relations in 1958. The two governments are marking the 60th anniversary of the relationship with a range of activities in 2018, under the hashtag #IDNZ60.

New Zealand and Indonesia foreign ministers meet annually at the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) to discuss the relationship and common goals. Both countries are also part of the regional architecture, including among others APEC, Pacific Islands Forum and East Asia Summit.

Indonesia and New Zealand work together on issues such as combatting transnational organised crime (terrorism, people smuggling and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing). They also collaborate on defence and police training, and humanitarian operations.

Indonesia is projected to have the world’s seventh largest economy by 2030. Trade between New Zealand and Indonesia is covered by the ASEAN Australia New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA). Both countries are also involved in negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The value of exports of goods to Indonesia was NZ$965 million in 2017 (an increase of 11.2 percent from 2016). The value of imports from Indonesia to New Zealand was NZ$856 million.

Beef exports to Indonesia have been a point of tension in the relationship. New Zealand began WTO dispute settlement proceedings in 2013, challenging 18 agricultural trade barriers imposed by Indonesia that had particular impact on the beef sector. In November 2017, New Zealand won its appeal. 

Indonesians in New Zealand

The 2013 census counted 4,137 Indonesians living in New Zealand, mainly in the Auckland region. About one-quarter were born in New Zealand. 

In 2017, 23,872 Indonesians visited New Zealand. 17,200 came for a holiday. In the same year, 41,500 New Zealanders travelled to Indonesia as their main holiday destination.

Useful links

President Joko Widodo

Website  | Twitter Facebook  | Instagram 

New Zealand Embassy and Mission to ASEAN, Jakarta , Indonesia

Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand Indonesia Association

University of Auckland Indonesian Student Association

Victoria-Wellington Indonesian Students Association 

Gamelan Wellington