Megawati Sukarnoputri


(pronounced "meh-ga-WAH-tee soo-kahr-noh-POOT-rih")

"I have always maintained that we, in solving any problems, want to do it with a dialogue."

Inhabited in 2002 by an estimated 231 million people, the Republic of Indonesia ranks fourth in population among the countries of the world. It consists of a 13,000 island archipelago stretching out over 1,919,440 sq km (741,096 sq mi) in Southeast Asia, at the point where the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean meet. Indonesia shares the island of Borneo with Malaysia and Brunei, shares New Guinea with Papua New Guinea, and lies north–northwest of Australia and south of the Philippines. The densely populated island of Java, traditionally the cultural center of the region, holds almost two-thirds of the population. Located on Java, Jakarta, the capital and largest city, has a population of more than 8 million. The islands of New Guinea and Sumatra contain secessionist movements seeking self-determination. East Timor, which had been an Indonesian province, became an independent nation in May 2002.

With 88% of the population adhering to the Islamic faith, Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world. Within Indonesia there are at least 300 ethnic groups speaking 200 different languages. Large ethnic groups include the Javanese (45%); the Sundanese (14%); Madurese (7.5%); and coastal Malays (7.5%). Bahasa Indonesia, based on the language of traders in the region and developed during colonial rule, is the official language. The overall literacy level in Indonesia is 84%, although there is a wide disparity between the literacy of men (90%) and women (78%).

Indonesia's major exports include textiles and garments, petroleum products, electrical goods, wood products, and rubber. Japan, the United States, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands, and Australia are major trading partners. The currency is the rupiah and the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at US $3,000 in 2001.


Office of the President
Bina Graha, Jl. Veteran 17
Istana Merdeka
Jakarta, Indonesia 10110

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