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Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia comprises 17,508 islands. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the seventh century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers generally absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought Islam, and European powers fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia's history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.
Indonesia has a market economy in which the government plays a significant role. It is the largest economy in southeast Asia and a member of the G-20 major economies. The services sector is the economy's largest, followed by industry and agriculture. However, agriculture employs more people than other sectors, followed by services and industry.
Although the economy slowed significantly from the 6%-plus growth rate recorded in 2007 and 2008, Indonesia outperformed its regional neighbors and joined China and India as the only G-20 members posting growth during the global financial crisis. Indonesia still struggles with poverty and unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, corruption, a complex regulatory environment and unequal resource distribution among regions. In 2010 the government faces the ongoing challenge of improving Indonesia's insufficient infrastructure to remove impediments to economic growth, while addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation needs, particularly with regard to conserving Indonesia's forests and peatlands.
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