The Indonesian economy, like the Indonesian nation state, took shape as part of the colonial transformation of the archipelago by the Dutch in the mid-nineteenth century. The agricultural sector of the economy provided food and labor to the export sector, which was firmly incorporated into the world economy through international trade.
This economic pattern survived several shifts and persisted even after Indonesia became independent in the mid-twentieth century.
Hiroyoshi Kano uses international trade statistics to analyze three key elements of the Indonesian economy: the balance of international trade and payments, the transformation undergone by leading export industries, and the way in which the agricultural sector supplied land, labor, and food.
Dividing the 150 years covered by the book into four periods, based on the prevailing major export industries, Kano identifies key actors and analyzes long-term changes in agricultural production and rural society, examining how they shaped the national Indonesian economy.
Well-written and well-organized, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of Indonesian and international business and economic history.