Java - Economy

Economy

Initially the economy of Java relied heavily on rice agriculture. Ancient kingdoms such as the Tarumanagara, Mataram, and Majapahit were dependent on rice yields and tax. Java was famous for rice surpluses and rice export since ancient times, and rice agriculture contributed to the population growth of the island. Trade with other parts of Asia such as India and China flourished as early as the 4th century, as evidenced by Chinese ceramics found on the island dated to that period. Java also took part in the global trade of Maluku spice from ancient times in the Majapahit era, until well into the VOC era.

Dutch East India Company set their foothold on Batavia in 17th century and was succeeded by Netherlands East Indies in 18th century. During these colonial times, the Dutch introduced the cultivation of commercial plants in Java, such as sugarcane, rubber, coffee, tea, and quinine. In the 19th and early 20th century, Javanese coffee gained global popularity. Thus, the name "Java" today has become a synonym for coffee.

Java is the most developed island in Indonesia since the era of Netherlands East Indies to modern Republic of Indonesia. The road transportation networks that have existed since ancient times were connected and perfected with the construction of Java Great Post Road by Daendels in the early 19th century. The Java Great Post Road become the backbone of Java's road infrastructure and laid the base of Java North Coast Road (Indonesian: Jalan Pantura, abbreviation from "Pantai Utara"). The need to transport commercial produces such as coffee from plantations in the interior of the island to the harbour on the coast spurred the construction of railway networks in Java. Today the industry, business and trade, also services flourished in major cities of Java, such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang, and Bandung; while some traditional Sultanate cities such as Yogyakarta, Surakarta, and Cirebon preserved its royal legacy and become the centre of art, culture and tourism in Java. Industrial estates also growing in towns on northern coast of Java, especially around Cilegon, Tangerang, Bekasi, Karawang, Gresik and Sidoarjo. The toll road highway networks was built and expanded since Suharto era until now, connecting major urban centres and surrounding areas, such as in and around Jakarta and Bandung; also the ones in Cirebon, Semarang and Surabaya. In addition to these motorways, Java has 16 national highways.

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