Indonesia's cultural economy: an economic geography using two secondary data sources

Chris Gibson(1*), Iwona Wiszniewski(2)

(*) Corresponding Author


Economic geographers have become increasingly interested in the importance of the 'cultural economy' to cities and regions, but rarely have results been sought or discussed for Southeast Asia or nations in the developing world. This article responds to this lacuna by charting an economic geography of cultural production in Indonesia, examining two sources ofpublicly available data: the United Nations Statistics Division's COMTRADE database of trade statistics, and DISb2b Indonesia (a commercial database of business location details in Indonesia). Results are discussed for the period 1996- 2002, for which reliable data are available. While both sources are limited (and such limitations are discussed here), they provide enough insight for some conclusions about the character of 1ndonesia's cultural economy to emerge. In contrast to studies of cultural economy in overseas contexts, Indonesia's culture-related exports are dominated by emphasis on hardware and manufacturing output, rather than intellectual property or 'symbolic' content. In keeping with overseas examples though, the geography oflndonesiak cultural economy displays high levels of metropolitan primacy. Results suggest that theories of cultural economies must be re-shaped to include consideration of regional and international flows, in addition to locally-unique class, cultural and economic dynamics in particular cities and regions.


Indonesian Culture Economy, Cultural Commodities, COMTRADE Database

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Accredited Journal, Based on Decree of the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Republic of Indonesia Number 225/E/KPT/2022, Vol 54 No 1 the Year 2022 - Vol 58 No 2 the Year 2026 (accreditation certificate download)

ISSN 2354-9114 (online), ISSN 0024-9521 (print)