Indonesia’s Economy, Beyond Rattan Furniture And Tourism

economyWhile Indonesia has taken its dear, sweet time getting here, it has emerged as one of the newest and most interesting business climates in the international market. This explains the big push for online and tech development in the Indonesian sphere.

ust take a look at these figures: By GDP, Indonesia is the world’s 16th-largest economy. While the rest of the world is still sweating out the global economic malaise, Indonesia is projected to grow by nearly 7% in 2013, according to the World Bank estimate. Indonesia has recently become a member of the G20, and “Foreign Policy” magazine lists 6 Indonesian leaders among its list of “world’s 500 most powerful people.”

Can the Indonesian Steve Jobs or Larry Page be far behind? Maybe that day isn’t coming yet, but Indonesia is getting restless within its economic borders. Agus Martowardojo, the new governor of Indonesia’s central bank, is urging Indonesian banks and businesses to compete overseas. Indonesian tech workers are starting to swell their ranks, and you encounter one in the online global market more and more every day.

On the domestic front, Indonesians are increasingly turning on the Internet as smaller and more remote villages get connected, and yes, Virginia, there are even Indonesians of Facebook! The Indonesian domain for Wikipedia is And for a clue how tech-savvy the region is getting, there is a native Linux operating system distribution, called “BlankOn,” actively developed right now. Maybe that Indonesian Steve Jobs isn’t so far away after all?

And of course, none of Indonesia’s rich agricultural resources or tourism dollars are hurting the situation. As their economy swells, the two leading GDP producers in the region are slowly making room for a third leading industry, as tech and global trade become a bigger concern. Could the average Indonesian laborer desire trading a plow for a keyboard? Other countries did it just this way.

All this is just part of what world economists are starting to call “the Asian century.” No less than The Economist magazine asked “Is America ready to be #2?” as it remarked on how Asia, spearheaded by China, is becoming the cornerstone to the world economy that the West used to be. Even though that steam is mainly going to China, a rising tide lifts all boats, as they say, and Indonesia’s boat is very, very close.

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