Conference on The Riau Islands



About the Conference

To Singapore’s south, the Indonesian Province of the Riau Islands (PRI) has a population of 1.9 million and a land area of 8,200 sq kilometres scattered across some 2,400 islands. The better-known islands include: Batam, the province’s economic motor; Bintan, the site of provincial capital, Tanjungpinang, and the area’s cultural heartland; and Karimun, strategically located near the Straits of Malacca.

Since the 1990s, the Riau Islands – and particularly Batam – have been a key part of Indonesia’s strategy to develop its manufacturing sector. Specialized infrastructure and liberalized regulations helped attract substantial foreign investment. In addition to generating a large number of formal sector jobs and earning foreign exchange, this paved the way for a number of far-reaching political and social developments. Key among them has been: large-scale migration from other parts of the country; the secession of the Riau Islands from the larger Riau Province in 2004; and the creation of a new provincial government.

Building on an ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute conference held in April of this year, this conference will investigate a number of key challenges facing this fledgling province. Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, this conference will explore current political and economic developments in the Riau Islands. This will be done around the following three themes:

Rapid Economic Change: what have been the social, political, and environmental effects of the rapid economic change seen in the Riau Islands?

Decentralization: how have the decentralization reforms affected the Riau Islands, including requiring it to establish a new provincial government and formulate a vision for its development?

Development Model: to what extent can or should the Province seek to re-orient its manufacturing for export model through revitalizing its agriculture sector, developing its services sector, and potentially targeting the country’s domestic market?

Attendance to the Conference is free of charge but registration is required by 28 November 2017.

As seats are limited, please register early. Admission to the Conference can only be taken as confirmed upon receiving the written acceptance from ISEAS.

For any queries, please feel free to e-mail

To register, please complete this form and return it by fax: 6775-6264 or email to by 28 November 2017.

You may download a copy of the programme here.


Nov 30 2017


8:30 am - 5:00 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 1 & 2