Indonesia is the world’s forth most populous country (after China, India and United States), located between Indian and pacific oceans, on both sides of the equator, in one of the most active volcanic and seismic region on earth.
The Indonesian culture seems to be at the meeting point between the «Arabian Nights» and the Asian culture, on an archipelago which reminds me Robinson Crusoe. Indonesians are mainly Muslim, however Indonesian population is marked by an extreme diversity, and religion is a great example of this diversity as the country has Christian regions (due to the Netherlands colonisation), but also Buddhist and Hindus peoples.
Entrepreneurs’ heaven ? (credit @Léo Cartier)
Indonesia is also the most representative place of earth’s biodiversity. Each island has its own species: from the rafflesia, the world biggest flower to the Komodo Dragoon (which might be the world biggest lizard). You can even see this biodiversity just by making a visit in a supermarket: so many different kind of fruit for each species, and in particular for chilly!
About the Indonesian Economy:
In 1998, the Asian economic crisis left Indonesia with a very devalued currency (today, one Indonesian Roupiah still worth only 7,3.10-5€) and led the country into a political crisis which ended by the resignation of the president Suharto and the advent of democracy. A new future was then offered to the country.
Even if the crisis and the low money discouraged most investors, Indonesia took advantage of its two important assets: natural resources and strong domestic market.
Indeed, Indonesia has many different natural resources such as wood, oil, and palm oil (but also copper, gold, coal …) and has more tan 240 million inhabitants, and here is the real strength of the Indonesian economy.
Nowadays, Indonesia is a fast developing country, and many Indonesians see their life standard improving with the economical growth. It might be the most striking observation you can do while discovering the Indonesian way of life: each time they can, they exchange their motorcycle for a car, and their car for a bigger one.
An emerging Indonesian middle class is accessing to new level of comfort, with goods such as TV, smartphone, washing machine, cars, air conditioner …
This evolution is giving a renewed development for the Indonesian domestic market, and consequently to Indonesian businesses. In this context, many markets have an important potential with low competition. As an Iteem student, I have easily several business ideas per week!
Some people would say that you can make easy money in Indonesia, but I prefer to see more opportunities for social entrepreneurship.
One of the most important unfamiliar feeling you can have when you arrive in Indonesia is freedom! Everything seems very easy to do, and in business, there is much less standards and regulations. In return, relation with the local authorities are not always easier.
Batam: an island like no other in Indonesia
The island of Batam has been chosen by the Indonesian government to become a free trade zone. Located close to Singapore, which can be reached in less than one hour by ferry, Batam is a great gateway for foreign investors in Indonesia.
Batam is known for its ship building activities with many shipyard around the island as it is located at the end of Singapore straits.
View from Batam street of one of the shopping mall in Batam (credit @Léo Cartier)
With annual growth of 6% during the last years, Indonesia has the most important growth in the G-20 after China.
With many natural resources, a monetary policy which encourage exports, and low cost work force, Indonesia attracts many foreign firms, however the transition between craft activities to industrial ones let many opportunities to start up and SMEs!
And the economic boom of Indonesia will continue as long as the government measures progress against corruption and separatist movements.
- See more at: http://international.iteem.ec-lille.fr/asia/indonesia-entrepreneurs%E2%80%99-heaven/#sthash.CTKyVUhd.dpuf