Why rural Indonesia is ripe for investment

RGE director Anderson Tanoto wrote a blog post for the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2015. The April 19-21, 2015 event – its 24th edition – is held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The following is an excerpt of the post:

Nearly half (48%) of the population live in rural areas outside urban settings. We often forget to include the voices of the other 120 million people – a group larger than the combined population of Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand – into the international development conversation. With Indonesia’s sheer size and topology, the development of rural areas presents its own immense challenges, namely: connectivity and infrastructure. It is vital to tackle these challenges to mobilize the rural population and improve their lives. As part of my work, I have been living for the past two years in a town called Pangkalan Kerinci, located in the Riau province of Sumatra. This was once a remote area inhabited by only 200 households. In the past 22 years since the APRIL Group came to set up operations, the population has grown to more than 150,000 people. Ninety thousand have found jobs, more than 2,000km of public roads have been constructed and 200 schools have been opened. Homes and the town are lit fully by excess electricity distributed from APRIL’s recovery boiler, powered by a renewable source of biomass called lignin.

The full article is available at the World Economic Forum East Asia blog.

About the World Economic Forum on East Asia (in Jarkata Indonesia)

The World Economic Forum is an International Institution, founded in 1971, committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation. It engages political, business, academic and other leaders of society in collaborative efforts to shape global, regional and industry agendas.  Together with other stakeholders, it works to define challenges, solutions and actions, always in the spirit of global citizenship. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests, working in close cooperation with all major international organisations.

Anderson Tanoto

Anderson Tanoto is a director of RGE, a group of companies in the resource-based manufacturing industry founded by its Chairman Sukanto Tanoto. He also oversees fibre operations in APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd), and is a member of the board of trustees at Tanoto Foundation International. More info: