Batam is one of an island on Riau Archipelago. Compared to the other islands, Batam is the most developed one, with so many industries and resorts scattering around Batam island. History of Batam is not really clear due to lack of written evidence about Batam in the past. We can read about Batam at London Tractate that told us about Dutch and England agreement about conquered land. However, there are some verbal evidence that this island has been populated with some people around 231 AD from Chinese sailor.
Before the government of Indonesia put their attention to this island, this island is near empty, with only native race living in this area. Fishing and farming are their main occupation. During that time, Batam island is full of forests and lush of bushes. The residents of Batam island lives their quiet yet peaceful life until finally Indonesia sees Batam island as a potential place to be developed.
Around 1970, Batam has been developed by Indonesian government as logistic hub and operational base for Pertamina. Batam government vision and mission is to develop this island into a major hub for industrial estates and export-import processing zone. To enhance the enthusiasm, Indonesian government decided to make Batam island a free-trade-zone island, means we have a luxury to not pay any value added tax. Free tax means fewer fee for any businesses, and it means a bigger opportunity for any businessman and businesswoman to open their venture here. From virgin island, full of tropical forest and lush garden, become a whole new city, complete with its complementary buildings like churches, mosques, temples, and of course a lot of residential, commercial, and industrial zones. The population of this island is also boosted, which around one million residents until now.
From traditional industry, Batam has been developed as one of the preferred location to invest for any factory owner. From simple factory like metal stamping factory to a highly sophisticated electronic devices factory. From a little and simple plastic case into a very big pipes for offshore purpose, free tax has become boon of industry development in this island. Entertainment, restaurant, hotels, clubs have become common sight in Batam. Batam has become a fairly big city, compared to other places around Batam Island.