Netherlands Indies

Capital:Jakarta
Indonesia, a vast polyglot nation, has weathered the global financial crisis relatively smoothly because of its heavy reliance on domestic consumption as the driver of economic growth. Increasing investment by both local and foreign investors is also supporting solid growth. Although the economy slowed to 4.5% growth in 2009 from the 6%-plus growth rate recorded in 2007 and 2008, by 2010 growth returned to a 6% rate. During the recession, Indonesia outperformed most of its regional neighbors. The government made economic advances under the first administration of President YUDHOYONO, introducing significant reforms in the financial sector, including tax and customs reforms, the use of Treasury bills, and capital market development and supervision. Indonesia's debt-to-GDP ratio in recent years has declined steadily because of increasingly robust GDP growth and sound fiscal stewardship, leading two of the three leading credit agencies to upgrade credit ratings for Indonesia's sovereign debt to one notch below investment grade. Indonesia still struggles with poverty and unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, corruption, a complex regulatory environment, and unequal resource distribution among regions. YUDHOYONO and his vice president, respected economist BOEDIONO, have maintained broad continuity of economic policy, although the economic reform agenda has been slowed during the first year of their term by corruption scandals and the departure of an internationally respected finance minister. In late 2010, increasing inflation, driven by higher and volatile food prices, posed an increasing challenge to economic policymakers and threatened to push millions of the near-poor below the poverty line. The government in 2011 faces the ongoing challenge of improving Indonesia's infrastructure to remove impediments to growth, while addressing climate change concerns, particularly with regard to conserving Indonesia's forests and peatlands, the focus of a potentially trailblazing $1 billion REDD+ pilot project.
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