Formally the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, Jakarta serves as Indonesia’s capital city. Jakarta is located on the northwestern coast of Java, the world’s most heavily populated island.
Technically, Jakarta is not a city but rather is officially considered to be a province due to its vast geographic size. The Special Capital Region of Jakarta is also a historically important port and trading hub.
Jakarta means “victorious deed” or “complete victory” and traces back to an old Javanese word.
Jakarta’s nickname is the Big Durian, a moniker referring to its native thorny and pungent fruit. That nickname resembles New York’s label as the Big Apple.
As a center for Indonesian business and government, Jakarta is ranked seventh for having the most multistory buildings and skyscrapers. Jakarta is also noted for having over 130 malls and shopping centers, as well as about 75 musuems.
Jakarta is plagued by frequent traffic jams. Rush hour is so bad that government dictates require cars to operate with at least 3 passengers during peak travel times.
With more than 40% of Jakarta below sea level, Jakarta is susceptible to flooding. Experts agree that sinking problem is set to worsen given the realities of climate change, Jakarta’s 13 rivers and its vulnerable position south of the Java sea.
From an international trade perspective, Indonesia placed 58th compared to other product-exporting countries. In 2019, Indonesia shipped US$167.5 billion worth of goods around the globe. The most valuable Indonesian exports are coal (11.3% of its global total), palm oil (8.8%), petroleum gas (5.3%), cars (2.4%), gold (2.1%), natural rubber (also 2.1%), flat-rolled stainless steel items (1.9%), lignite (1.7%) and ferro-alloys (1.6%).
Manila is densely populated capital city for the Republic of the Philippines.
The Philippines is a sovereign Southeast Asian nation located in the western Pacific Ocean comprised of 7,641 islands and islets. The Port of Manila serves as the country’s largest seaport and is ranked as the world’s 39th busiest port in terms of container shipments for 2016 by the American Association of Port Authorities.
Nicknames for Manila include Pearl of the Orient, Rome of the East, City of Churches and, more recently, Capital of Fun. The latter reflects a catchy tourism slogan that Manila’s Department of Tourism created.
Manila’s Binondo district is the world’s oldest Chinatown, established in the 1590s by Spain for Catholic Chinese settlers.
Manila is also recognized by the Guinness World Records as the site for several firsts. Founded in 1611 and the oldest university in Asia, Manila’s University of Santo Tomas was the location for the world’s largest human cross comprised of 13,266 participants in March 2011. In addition, the world’s biggest human smiley was achieved by 8,018 participants during an event at Manila’s Luneta Park at the end of May 2015. Another record was set on May 6, 2018 when 283,171 people entered a charity walk or run organized in Manila by the Church of Christ (Philippines).
On the negative side, research website numbeo ranks Manila dead last compared to the 250 cities evaluated on its overall quality of life index at June 2020. Manila scored poorly on index factors such as purchasing power, safety, property price to income ratio, traffic commute time and pollution.
From an international trade perspective, the Philippines placed 44th among the top exporting nation in 2019 shipping $70.3 billion worth of goods around the globe. The most valuable exports are electronic integrated circuits (27% of Philippines’ global total), computers (6.7%), miscellaneous electrical machinery with individual functions (4%), insulated wire or cable (3.7%), printing machinery (3%), electrical transformers and static converters (2.8%), bananas including plantains (2.7%), computer parts and accessories excluding covers and carrying cases (2.1%), semiconductor devices including diodes and transistors (also 2.1%), gold (2%), and copper (1.8%) according to the International Trade Centre.
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