More information about Indonesia is available on the Indonesia country page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Indonesia is a vital partner in the Indo-Pacific Region, and U.S.-Indonesia relations have taken on increasing importance. Indonesia is the world’s third largest democracy, largest Muslim-majority country, the seventh-largest economy by purchasing power, and a leader in ASEAN. It possesses the world’s greatest marine biodiversity and its second greatest terrestrial biodiversity. Indonesia also borders the South China Sea, which has the world’s busiest sea lanes — more than $5 trillion in cargo and as much as 50 percent of the world’s oil tankers pass through the South China Sea every year. The United States was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Indonesia in 1949, following its independence from the Netherlands. Indonesia’s democratization and reform process since 1998 has increased its stability and security and resulted in strengthened U.S.-Indonesia relations. The United States and Indonesia initiated in 2010 a Comprehensive Partnership to foster consistent high-level engagement on democracy and civil society, education, security, resilience and mitigation, maritime, energy, and trade issues, among others. Based on its success, in 2015, the two countries upgraded the relationship to the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership, extending cooperation to issues of regional and global significance.
Indonesia and the United States continue to expand our people-to-people ties. Approximately 14,700 Indonesians are alumni of USG-sponsored exchange programs. Since 1952, more than 2,800 Indonesians and 1,200 Americans have received Fulbright scholarships to study, teach, or pursue important research and professional projects. Nearly 40,000 Indonesians are members of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Network, the largest number from any ASEAN country. Each year, U.S. Mission Indonesia sends as many as 200 emerging Indonesian leaders to the United States to participate in a broad range of youth exchange programs, and approximately 7,500 Indonesians undertake study in the United States.
U.S. Assistance to Indonesia
Indonesia faces domestic development challenges; uneven benefits from democratic and economic progress; fragile institutions that lack capacity to adequately address its social service needs; economic inequality; and risks from environmental degradation. Cooperation extends across a range of key development areas: strengthening education and professional ties, improving governance, strengthening health systems, advancing security, partnering on international issues, and supporting environmental stewardship.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged both our nations, and we will continue to work together to end this pandemic and strengthen the global health architecture to prevent the next. The United States has provided $77 million in COVID-19-related assistance to Indonesia, building on $1 billion in health assistance over the past two decades. The United States is the leading vaccine donor to Indonesia and has provided more than 35 million doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines through the COVAX facility as of March 2022.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) partners with the Government of Indonesia, to advance shared economic and security interests to reinforce a stable, self-reliant and resilient Indonesia. Through results- driven investment, USAID works with the Government of Indonesia, local leaders, the private sector, civil society and other development partners to strengthen a just and accountable democracy, expand basic services, and enhance mutual security and prosperity.
Indonesia’s coral reefs, tropical forests, and mangrove ecosystems support one of the greatest concentrations of biodiversity on earth. Indonesia is at the center of the Coral Triangle, the global epicenter of marine biodiversity, and has the third largest tropical rainforest in the world. However, decades of resource-driven development and illegal land clearance have damaged the country’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Illegal, unreported, and unregistered fishing (IUU) results in $3-5 billion in annual economic losses to Indonesia’s economy, threatening both local livelihoods and global food security. USAID assistance programming supports the Government of Indonesia’s efforts to combat IUU fishing and counter illegal wildlife trafficking, while promoting local efforts to improve land use practices and increasing the amount of renewable energy generated as a proportion of Indonesia’s overall energy production.
In 2018, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) concluded its successful five-year, $474 million compact with the Indonesian government, which aimed to advance renewable energy, improve nutrition to reduce widespread stunting, and modernize Indonesia’s public procurement system. MCC’s Board of Directors selected Indonesia as eligible to develop a second compact, and MCC and the Indonesian government are working in partnership to identify potential areas for investment for this new program.
The Peace Corps works in underserved and rural schools and communities to help Indonesia reach its education development goals through grassroots people-to-people contact, cultural exchange, and technical skills transfer.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, has enjoyed steady economic growth over the past decade, averaging between 5-6 percent with moderate inflation, rising foreign direct investment, and relatively low interest rates, although the COVID-19 pandemic caused the economy to contract by about 2 percent in 2020. Indonesia’s annual budget deficit is capped at 3 percent of GDP (with a three-year exception to surpass that level in 2020-2022 due to the pandemic), and the Government of Indonesia lowered its debt-to-GDP ratio from a peak of 100 percent shortly after the Asian financial crisis in 1999 to about 36 percent in 2021. Indonesia’s growing middle class, strong domestic demand, large and youthful population, and need for new infrastructure, including a rapidly expanding digital economy, makes it an important market for U.S. products and investment. U.S. bilateral goods trade with Indonesia totaled more than $37 billion in 2021, while bilateral trade in services totaled an estimated $2.4 billion in 2020. Principal U.S. exports to Indonesia include soybeans, aircraft, mineral fuels, machinery, and cotton. The stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in Indonesia was $18.7 billion in 2020. The United States continues to engage with Indonesia to advance economic reform priorities, such as strengthening the investment climate and reducing barriers to trade, such as protectionist laws, limited infrastructure, and an unevenly applied legal structure.
Indonesia’s Membership in International Organizations
Indonesia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations and forums, including the United Nations, ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, G-20, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Indonesia serves as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2019 and 2020. Indonesia also cooperates with the United States on issues of regional and global concern such as countering violent extremism, counterterrorism, global peacekeeping operations, maritime security, and global health security. Indonesia is the chair of the G20 in 2022.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Indonesia maintains an embassy in the United States at 2020 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-775-5200).
More information about Indonesia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
CIA World Factbook Indonesia Page
USAID Indonesia Page
History of U.S. Relations With Indonesia
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies