Market Research in Borneo
Borneo is the largest island in Asia and the third-largest in the world. It lies in Southeast Asia near Malaysia. Its beaches and rainforests are well known. Three southeast Asian nations occupy the island. Brunei and Malaysia are in the north, and Indonesia is to the south. Brunei is one of the world’s smallest yet richest states, with a high standard of living. Malaysian Borneo is known as East Malaysia. Indonesian Borneo is known as Kalimantan.
Why is Borneo Important?
Borneo is one of the most protected areas worldwide. Its forests are diverse, and can produce more income than the logging industry. At present, a biotech company in Malaysian Borneo is working on setting up a new bio-economy based on knowledge rather than resource usage.
Cities and Regions in Borneo
Samarinda, located on the banks of the Mahakam River, is the most populous city on the island. It is the capital of East Kalimantan, a province of Indonesia.
Banjarmasin is the second-biggest city and part of the South Kalimantan province. It’s on a delta island near the spot where the Barito and the Martapura Rivers meet.
Kuching, the island’s third-largest city, is in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is the most populous city in that state. Kuching is on the banks of the Sarawak River, where it occupies an area of 166 square miles.
Eco businesses can thrive as the island continues to protect its forests. It has engaged in efforts to preserve Bornean orangutans. Campaigns that teach the public about how vital it is to protect these animals are also helpful. In fact, the island has declared a fatwa (Islamic religious ban) on illegal trafficking of these apes. It’s the first-ever fatwa proclaimed to protect endangered species. The island is also home to some bio-diverse tropical forests. This asset can be a further boon for eco-tourism investors.
Frequent forest fires continue to be an issue. In many areas of the world, such blazes play a vital role in forest ecosystems. But that is not the case for tropical rainforests. In any case, it’s rare for tropical rainforests to burn due to dampness. Yet, Borneo’s forests have been burning due to poor practices. The country needs investors to fund development that can sustain the rainforests.
Wildlife conservation is also a happy trend. As mentioned, the island has large orangutan populations in the upland forests. Habitat loss is also a threat to Sunda clouded leopards and the Sumatran rhino. Moreover, the loss of Bornean forests releases large amounts of carbon dioxide. That release is another threat to species.
Oil palm took off in Borneo in the mid-1990s. Today, Malaysia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil. In 1960 the country grew 60,000 hectares of oil palm, and by 2001 this figure had grown to 3 million hectares. One-third of the oil palm plantations are in Sabah, in the northeast. Sabah has the ideal climate for growing the plant.
Both Malaysia and Indonesia are seeking to expand their timber plantations. Yet, both the oil palm and the timber industries spell trouble for the island. Growers and loggers have cleared, fragmented, and degraded Borneo’s forests. Oil palm and wood-pulp plantations threaten the island’s ecology.
The clearing of forests began in earnest in the middle of the last century. It started with the setting up of rubber plantations though these had a limited impact. Logging rose in the 1970s and grew in the 1980s. During that time, Malaysia depleted its mainland forests. Meanwhile, former Indonesian strongman Suharto gave away large tracts of forest. Most of these tracts went to army generals to cement political ties. This action led to even more denuding of the forests in the 1980s. The island is now under global forest watch as it strives to rebuild its forest cover.
In Borneo, gaps exist between the wishes of consumers and the actual uptake of branded products due to higher prices. People under 35 have also shifted to online buying due to the recent pandemic. Researchers foresee this shift becoming a permanent feature, as many Borneans continue using digital platforms, even after things return to normal.
Reasons to Grow Your Business in Borneo
Are you aiming to do business in the Malaysian states? You’ll find that Malaysia is one of the stablest countries in the Asia Pacific Region. It has a solid infrastructure, a well-educated workforce, and affordable, high-quality living.
The Indonesian side will give you access to trade agreements and investment incentives. Another great thing about Indonesia is its vast population. Its middle class is growing, and it has low labor costs.
Like Malaysia, Brunei is a stable country. It also has a favorable tax policy. Other pluses are the strong oil & gas industry and the excellent regional connections.
The island of Borneo is also bio-diverse, and home to more than 1400 types of animals. There are some issues, such as the terrain, much of which is either swampy or mountainous. Yet, the island has a lot of potential for growing and sustaining profitable business ventures.
About Market Research in Borneo
SIS International Research is global business made up of market researchers and consultants. We have a passion for probing the everyday lives of consumers. From these probes, we develop the best strategies for products and brands. Our approach includes Quantitative and Qualitative Research. We also do UX Market Research, which is a critical tool. Use our research products to learn how people engage with your products and services.