Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia

Economy | Business | Business districts | Retail

🇮🇩 Surabaya is the capital of the Indonesian province of East Java and the second-largest city in Indonesia. Located on the north-eastern border of Java island, on the Madura Strait, it is one of the earliest port cities in Southeast Asia. According to the National Development Planning Agency, Surabaya is one of the four main central cities of Indonesia. The city forms the core of the extended Surabaya metropolitan area, the third-largest in Indonesia.

The city was settled in the 10th century by the Kingdom of Janggala, one of the two Javanese kingdoms that was formed in 1045 when Airlangga abdicated his throne in favor of his two sons. In the late 15th and 16th centuries, Surabaya grew to be a duchy, a major political and military power as well as a port in eastern Java, probably under the Majapahit empire. At that time, Surabaya was already a major trading port, owing to its location on the River Brantas delta and the trade route between Malacca and the Spice Islands via the Java Sea. During the decline of Majapahit, the lord of Surabaya resisted the rise of the Demak Sultanate and only submitted to its rule in 1530. Surabaya became independent after the death of Sultan Trenggana of Demak in 1546.

From the 18th century until the mid 20th century, Surabaya was the largest city in the Dutch East Indies, and the centre of trading in the Indonesian archipelago, which was then a competitor to Shanghai and Hong Kong. The city is known as Kota Pahlawan (the city of heroes) due to the importance of the Battle of Surabaya during the Indonesian National Revolution. The city is one of the important financial, commercial, industrial, transportation, and entertainment hubs of the archipelago, arguably second only to Jakarta, and the Port of Tanjung Perak is Indonesia's second-busiest seaport located on northern Surabaya. The city is also known for being one of the cleanest and greenest in Indonesia.


Economy Since the early 1900s, Surabaya has been one of the most important and busiest trading city ports in Asia. Principal exports from the port include sugar, tobacco, and coffee. Its rich history as a trading port has led to a strong financial infrastructure with modern economic institutions such as banks, insurance, and sound export-import companies. The economy is influenced by the recent growth in international industries and the completion of the Suramadu Bridge. The high potential and economic activities make the city an attractive destination to foreign investors. The city is home to a large shipyard and numerous specialised naval schools. The Bank of Indonesia has also made plans for Surabaya to be the Islamic financial centre of Indonesia.


Business As the provincial capital, Surabaya has numerous offices and business centers; as a metropolitan city, it became the centre of economic, financial, and business activities in East Java and beyond. Also, Surabaya is the second-largest port city in Indonesia after Jakarta. As a trading centre, Surabaya is not only a trade centre for East Java, but also facilitates areas in Central Java, Kalimantan, and Eastern Indonesia. Surabaya's strategic location in almost in the centre of Indonesia and just south of Asia makes it one of the critical hubs for trading activities in Southeast Asia. It is currently in the process of building high-rise skyscrapers, including apartments, condominiums, and hotels to attract foreign capital. Surabaya and the surrounding area are undergoing the most rapidly growing and the most advanced economic development in Indonesia. The city is also one of the most essential cities in supporting Indonesia's economy.

Most of the population is engaged in services, industry, and trade. Surabaya is a fast-growing trading centre. Major industries include shipbuilding, heavy equipment, food processing and agriculture, electronics, home furnishings, and handicrafts. Many major multinational companies are based in Surabaya, such as Sampoerna, Maspion, Wings Group, Unilever Indonesia, Pakuwon Group, Jawa Pos Group, and PAL Indonesia.


Business districts The area between Jalan Basuki Rachmat, Jalan Tunjungan, Jalan Embong Malang, and Jalan Bubutan has grown as a business centre and has turned into one of the main business and trade activities areas in Surabaya. Some of the important buildings in this area include Wisma BRI Surabaya, Hotel Bumi Surabaya, Wisma Dharmala Surabaya, The Peak Residence, and Sheraton Hotel.

Another cluster around Jalan Mayjend Sungkono, Jalan Adityawarman, Jalan HR Muhammad, and Jalan Bukit Darmo has grown as a new business centre of the city. This area has now grown as one of the most rapidly growing commercial and business centres in East Java, with high-rise buildings. Some of the tallest buildings in Surabaya are located in this area, such as Adhiwangsa Apartment, Waterplace Residence, Puri Matahari, Beverly Park Apartment, The Via & The Vue Apartment, Ciputra World Hotel, Puncak Permai Apartment, and Rich Palace Hotel.


Retail Surabaya has plenty of shopping centres like other major cities of Indonesia, ranging from traditional markets to most modern shopping malls. Outlets of local and international brands have a presence in modern shopping malls. There were about 100 hectares/one million square metres of retail space in Surabaya by the end of 2016. There are many dedicated markets for electronic goods, gadgets and computer hardware.

Some important shopping malls of the city are: • BG Junction • Ciputra World Surabaya • City of Tomorrow • Royal Plaza Surabaya • East Coast Center • Galaxy Mall • Grand City Mall • HI-Tech Mall • ITC Surabaya • Lenmarc • Marvell City • Pakuwon Mall • Pasar Atom Mall • Tunjungan Plaza • Surabaya Town Square • World Trade Center Surabaya.

Surabaya City, East Java, Indonesia 
Surabaya City, East Java, Indonesia
Image: Adobe Stock Daniel Ferryanto #305389881

Surabaya is rated Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.

Surabaya was ranked #482 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Surabaya has a population of over 2,765,487 people. Surabaya also forms the centre of the wider Surabaya metropolitan area which has a population of over 9,500,000 people. Surabaya is ranked #759 for startups with a score of 0.188.

To set up a UBI Lab for Surabaya see: Twitter:

The Climate Emergency means that Surabaya may be at risk of flooding by rising sea levels by 2035

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Surabaya has links with:

🇪🇬 Alexandria, Egypt 🇰🇷 Busan, South Korea 🇨🇳 Changning, China 🇦🇺 Fremantle, Australia 🇨🇳 Guangzhou, China 🇲🇾 Johor Bahru, Malaysia 🇹🇼 Kaohsiung, Taiwan 🇯🇵 Kitakyushu, Japan 🇯🇵 Kōchi, Japan 🇧🇳 Kuala Belait, Brunei 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Liverpool, England 🇲🇽 Monterrey, Mexico 🇯🇵 Nankoku, Japan 🇨🇳 Nansha District, China 🇮🇳 New Delhi, India 🇨🇳 Qingpu District, China 🇺🇸 Seattle, USA 🇲🇾 Shah Alam, Malaysia 🇨🇳 Shanghai, China 🇨🇳 Siming District, China 🇨🇳 Tianjin, China 🇧🇬 Varna, Bulgaria 🇨🇳 Xiamen, China
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GaWC | Nomad | StartupBlink

Antipodal to Surabaya is: -67.267,7.233

Locations Near: Surabaya 112.733,-7.23333

🇮🇩 Gresik 112.65,-7.15 d: 13  

🇮🇩 Bangkalan 112.752,-7.025 d: 23.2  

🇮🇩 Sidoarjo 112.7,-7.45 d: 24.4  

🇮🇩 Lamongan 112.414,-7.123 d: 37.3  

🇮🇩 Mojokerto 112.431,-7.473 d: 42.6  

🇮🇩 Pasuruan 112.907,-7.646 d: 49.7  

🇮🇩 Batu 112.525,-7.872 d: 74.6  

🇮🇩 Malang 112.617,-7.967 d: 82.5  

🇮🇩 Kepanjen 112.561,-8.132 d: 101.7  

🇮🇩 Kediri 112,-7.8 d: 102.5  

Antipodal to: Surabaya -67.267,7.233

🇻🇪 San Fernando de Apure -67.47,7.893 d: 19938.4  

🇨🇴 Puerto Carreño -67.489,6.188 d: 19896.3  

🇻🇪 Calabozo -67.428,8.922 d: 19826.5  

🇻🇪 Puerto Ayacucho -66.617,5.65 d: 19824.9  

🇻🇪 Easter Valley -66,9.2 d: 19755.7  

🇻🇪 Valle de la Pascua -66.007,9.214 d: 19754.8  

🇻🇪 San Juan de Los Morros -67.346,9.884 d: 19720.2  

🇻🇪 Las Vegas -68.583,9.65 d: 19709.9  

🇻🇪 San Carlos -68.583,9.65 d: 19709.9  

🇻🇪 Altagracia de Orituco -66.382,9.858 d: 19707.5  

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