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Batam is an island and city in Riau Islands Provincemarker of Indonesiamarker, known for its free trade zone area as part of the Sijori Growth Triangle, is located 20 km (12.5 miles) off Singaporemarker's south coast. The 715 kmĀ² (276 milesĀ²) island has a population of 965,062 (Jun 2009)..

The official language on the island is Indonesian, but due to the sizeable Chinese population, Chinese languages including Teochew, Hokkien and Mandarin are also spoken.


Batam is located east of Karimunmarker and Bulan Island, west of Bintanmarker, north of Rempang, and south of Singaporemarker. The Riau Strait (Selat Riau) separates Batam and Bintan

Major communities on Batam are Sekupang, Jodoh, Nagoya, Sungai Panas, Batam Centre, Baloi, Batu Ampar, and Bengkong.
Pompong boat for short distance connections in Batam and nearby islands


Beginning in the 1970s, the island underwent a major transformation from a largely forested area into a major harbor and industrial zone. The population grew from a few thousand in the 1960s into hundreds of thousands. The island's economy benefits from being close to Singaporemarker, and, with lower labour costs and special government incentives, is the site of many factories operated by Singaporean companies. Shipbuilding and electronics manufacturing are major industries on the island; there are also several resorts and tourist destinations on the island.

Under a framework signed in June 2006, Batam, along with parts of neighboring Bintanmarker and Karimunmarker, are a part of a Special Economic Zone with Singapore; this zone eliminates tariffs and value-added taxes for goods shipped between Batam and Singapore..


The island is connected by several ferry services to nearby cities, including Bintanmarker, Karimunmarker, Singaporemarker and Johor Bahrumarker (Malaysia); the trip to Singapore takes less than one hour.

Hang Nadim Airportmarker is the island's airport, and has the longest runway in Indonesia; Jakartamarker is the most important destination.

Batam Center Harbour from a ferry
The "Barelang" bridges are a major landmark on Batam. The name is an abbreviation of Batam-Rempang-Galang, the three major islands connected by the bridges, and 3 more smaller islands. The bridges were constructed under Habibie as the Minister for Research and Technology with funding from the German government.

See also


  1. Batam Industrial Development Authority

See also

External links

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