Our Corporate Communications staff spend time getting to know Sumitomo Corporation's different business sites around the world, reporting on how the people at those sites work. We will keep you up to date with the world of Sumitomo Corporation, which extends to every corner of the globe.
Mass Media Relations Team, Corporate Communications Department
She joined Sumitomo Corporation in 2011. Although She is still a novice, her boss sensibly arranged her business trip to her home country of Indonesia. She passionately love yakiniku and fried food, but is voluntarily refraining from them because of problems She experienced from overeating. To get fit in time for spring, She would like to make her debut in kick-boxing, which She have been thinking about taking up since last year.
East Jakarta Industrial Park (EJIP)
This industrial park, in which Sumitomo Corporation has a 60% stake, was developed in 1990. Its tenants are primarily Japanese companies from a wide range of business categories, including auto manufacturers and home electronics manufacturers. Even after more than 20 years since its establishment, the EJIP brand continues to improve as a more accessible, higher quality industrial park.
P.T. Super Steel Karawang (SSK)
Established in 1998 as the only bonded coil center in Indonesia, the company has two plants; the Cikarang Plant that mainly focuses on customers related to cars for the domestic market, and the Karawang Plant that mainly focuses on customers dealing in re-export.
P.T. Sumisho Global Logistics Indonesia
As an integrated global logistics service provider, the company covers customs clearance and delivery and distribution center operations in Indonesia, where logistics services are dramatically increasing. Since its establishment in 1994, the company has expanded and enhanced its distribution centers in response to Indonesia's strong growth.
Indonesia is a tropical country, and has been attracting much attention around the world as one of the post BRIC* countries. With its economy growing at a rate of 5 to 6 percent per year, the country is now producing about 40% of the GDP (gross domestic product) of the entire ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries. In mid-October 2011, I visited Sumitomo Corporation's operating companies in Indonesia to see how Sumitomo Corporation is involved in this economic growth.
* BRIC is a grouping acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China, and refers to major emerging economies.
Roads are clogged, day and night. Jams often worsen when it rains.
What surprised me when I first visited Jakarta, the capital and economic center of Indonesia, in mid-October were the heavy traffic jams. I remember that I had a hard time with traffic jams when I lived in Jakarta ten years ago, but the jams I experienced during my business trip this time were far greater. Not even mentioning commuter rush hours, traffic was at a standstill even during daytime hours, after 14:00 p.m. Such is Jakarta's famous reputation as the place with "the world's worst traffic jam." Even motorbikes, which are supposed to be able to move between cars, cannot do so because there are simply too many of them. During my stay in Jakarta, I often had difficulties in estimating just how long it would take to go to a building even just a short distance ahead.
It's no wonder the above situation is occurring since Indonesia is now the second biggest auto market in Asia, following Thailand. Currently, 8 million motorbikes and 800,000 automobiles are sold per year and sales are likely to reach 10 million units and 1 million units, respectively in a few years time. The Indonesian market is in fact dramatically expanding.
To ease severe traffic jams caused by the explosive growth of auto sales, there are several zones in central Jakarta where only vehicles carrying three or more passengers, including the drivers, can pass through. This measure to relieve traffic jams is called "3-in-1." While this regulation is inconveniencing many people, some are taking advantage of it in order to earn a living—as a temporary passenger "jockey." They give a thumbs-up before control zones, like a hitchhiker, and receive money by riding in a car that is not carrying a sufficient number of passengers to meet the requirement. I didn't see any jockeys because I was fortunate enough to avoid travel during rush hour, but I was impressed by the toughness of people who transform regulations into an opportunity for business.
At the same time, despite the dramatic increase of cars, I felt that the air had become remarkably cleaner. Ten years ago, most of bikers in Jakarta were covering their mouths with a bandana to avoid breathing in exhaust gas. During my stay, however, I rarely saw black exhaust gas or people wearing bandana masks. Cleaner air despite worsening traffic jams. The only thing that remained unchanged since my last visit was the Jakarta-standard passenger capacity of bikes, which carry four people.
Besides traffic jams, I noticed another feature of Indonesian roads―too many Japanese cars, which made me feel as if I was in Japan. Reportedly, over 90% of the vehicles on the streets are Japanese cars. And Sumitomo Corporation is in fact contributing greatly to the production and distribution of Japanese cars in Indonesia.
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