Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Markets
Pursuits

Can Indonesia’s 50 Cent-an-Hour Workers Mimic China’s Success?

As the sun lowers into the Java Sea, Asep Saefullah and his friends sit by a pond among the rice fields near his village in Indonesia, chatting, smoking clove cigarettes and fishing.

Not for much longer. Work has begun on an industrial park with a power station and water treatment plant that will create as many as 190,000 jobs. It’s part of a grander plan to turn this stretch of coastline on the island of Java into an export city, with a container port and a highway to the capital, Jakarta.