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Indonesia Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's win in the April 2019 elections has confirmed his second term, which will officially commence in October 2019. Parliamentary election results indicate Jokowi’s multi-party coalition will return with simple majority – currently pegged at about 61% of all seats – with his own party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, leading with most seats. Jokowi faced large student-led demonstrations towards the end of his first term. They were protesting at laws that weakened the role of the anti-graft body and his plan to liberalise the main labour law to attract greater investment. The plan to make it easier to hire and dismiss employees as well as make redundancy payments less costly will face opposition from major trade unions and risks being watered down. Although Jokowi had hoped to achieve 7% real GDP growth during his first five-year term, this target will be missed. IHS Markit expects Indonesian real GDP growth to expand 5.0% in 2019 owing to the rupiah stabilisation policies implemented in 2018, including interest rate rises, import tariffs on consumer goods, and delaying capital goods imports for investment projects. With monetary policy easing in 2019, and the government expected to return its focus to infrastructure projects, growth will pick up to 5.1% in 2020.The deadliest terrorist attack on Indonesian soil (since the 2005 Bali bombings) occurred in May 2018 in East Java province, where three attacks killed eight people and injured 41 others. These attacks indicated a more recent, limited escalation in pro-Islamic State activity. They have also signalled improved co-ordination among domestic cells, but attack capability has not improved. Although Indonesia has enhanced its counter-terrorism efforts substantially during the past decade, further low-capability attacks remain probable.
Last update: October 10, 2019

Operational Outlook

President Jokowi's government has improved business environment in Indonesia by streamlining permits and reducing regulations. This momentum is likely to continue through his second term, particularly in the banking sector. Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board has been allocated a greater role under Jokowi, which has helped improve investor confidence: through this board, further easing of regulation is probable. Although the government has simplified the minimum wage formula to link it with inflation and economic growth, any amendment to the labour laws will probably take years, given the political compulsions of engaging with active trade unions.

Last update: May 23, 2019

Terrorism

High

Following suicide attacks by Islamic State-affiliated militants in May 2018, Indonesia has further intensified efforts to counter terrorism and pre-emptively disrupt terrorist cells, including via a new law. However, Islamic State-linked cells are reportedly still active in several provinces; therefore, frequent, low-capability attacks continue to remain probable. Separately, a resurgent insurgency movement in West Papua province will probably lead to increased attacks against security forces and workers of the Trans-Papua Highway project. The threat, however, remains limited in scope and capability.

Last update: August 3, 2019

Crime

Street crime remains an issue in large urban centres such as greater Jakarta, Medan, and Surabaya. The most common types of crime are vehicle theft, residential break-ins, and pickpocketing. Organised criminal networks are pervasive, particularly in major cities, ranging from street gangs that extort money from small businesses to politically connected paramilitary groups that are sometimes deployed to intimidate residents in land procurement for construction projects. Members of these groups are referred to as "preman", a term that embraces anyone from a street gangster to a sophisticated criminal group with ties to the elite.

Last update: July 31, 2019

War Risks

China's territorial claims in the South China Sea reportedly overlap with the Exclusive Economic Zone of Indonesia's Natuna Islands: in July 2017, Indonesia renamed waters to the northeast of Natuna Islands as "North Natuna Sea", claiming sovereignty over the area. There has since been a risk of limited confrontation between both sides. In the Celebes Sea, Indonesia and Malaysia are engaged in a maritime boundary dispute over the Ambalat block. However, strong bilateral relations indicate that deterioration of the situation involving armed forces is unlikely.

Last update: August 3, 2019

Social Stability

High

Protests and strikes are noted frequently in major Indonesian cities, particularly in Jakarta. Although these protests have the potential of involving thousands of individuals, they are still mostly peaceful; they sometimes lead to fighting with the police. Besides issues of labour groups, such as concerning wages and bonus pays, most protests are organised by hard-line Islamist groups on religious or communitarian grounds. There is an elevated risk of protests by these groups in the post-election outlook, demanding government action against Chinese policy, including against Belt and Road Initiative projects and the alleged subjugation of the Uighur population.

Last update: August 7, 2019

Health Risk

Severe

Vaccinations required to enter the country

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over nine months of age.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Yellow Fever: A vaccine is available for children over the age of one year.

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Japanese Encephalitis: For stays of longer than one month in a rural zone during the rainy season (for children over the age of one). The vaccine is administered in a local medical facility.

Malaria: Recommended preventive medication (with the exception of a trip to Bali) - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Extreme

As of early June 2015, Mount Sinabung volcano (Karo district, North Sumatra) has shown signs of major volcanic activity (clouds of burning ash, projections of rock, and lava flows), forcing authorities to evacuate those who live up to 13 km (8.1 mi) from the volcano.

Boating enthusiasts should be aware that acts of piracy regularly occur in Indonesian waters.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Elevated

It should be noted that all means of transportation are affected by generally poor travel conditions. While the entirety of Indonesian airlines was on the EU’s blacklist at one time, in January 2009, the European Commission removed restrictions on Garuda, Mandala, Airfast, and Premiair airlines, citing significant progress in security conditions.

On June 9, 2015, Indonesia waived the entry visa requirement for French tourists.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Telecommunications

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

Indonesia's climate is tropical with high levels of humidity and relatively stable temperatures.

There are two seasons: the wet monsoon season from November to March (abundant rain) and the dry monsoon season from April to October (dry winds). Temperatures are constant throughout the year along the coast and in low elevation zones (between 25°C and 30°C). Temperatures are lower in mountainous regions.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +62
Police: 110 (or 911 in Bali)
Fire Dept.: 113
Ambulance: 118

Electricity

Voltage: 127/230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019