Natural resources are truly a part of the real wealth of nations and contribute greatly towards its revenue, income and poverty reduction. This shows the fundamental importance of natural resources and that it must be managed sustainably. Founder and Chairman of Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), Sukanto Tanoto, had the foresight to maximise the superiority of Indonesia’s natural resources, and achieved incredible success on an international level.
There are three main factors that places Indonesia at an advantage in the field of agriculture, including the forestry industry. First is its tropical climate, which is a very important advantage. With sunshine all year round, the growth of plants greatly flourishes, as plants need sunlight to grow healthily and abundantly.
Next factor is the land condition that supports the forestry industry. Most of the land in Indonesia is known to be rich and fertile. Fertile land makes it easy for plants to thrive, and its growth is fast, so only a short period of time is required for the harvest cycle, which is definitely a fruitful and advantageous factor.
The third factor that gives Indonesia an advantage is its biodiversity. Indonesia is placed at the highest level in this regard, which is indicated from the many kinds of germplasm available, which is a valuable natural resource of plant diversity. Germplasm is living tissue from which new plants can be grown. It can be a seed or another plant part – a leaf, a piece of stem, pollen or even just a few cells that can be turned into a whole plant.
Sukanto Tanoto was well aware of these factors and the superiority of Indonesia’s natural resources and used these resources to maximise RGE’s business. Tanoto was a visionary and he took a daring step in 1973, when he opened a plywood production company, at a time when other businessmen in the country preferred to sell logs. This move proved to be a success, as RGE’s business in the plywood sector generated large profits that were useful for the company’s growth.
Tanoto took his success and vision to the next level when he entered the palm oil industry and opened Asian Agri in 1979, a subsidiary of RGE that is capable of producing crude palm oil of up to one million tons per year. As a result, they are listed as one of the important players in the palm oil industry in Asia. In bringing Asian Agri right to the top, Tanoto truly optimised Indonesia’s potential and superiority, taking great care of the trees planted in fertile soil, and having sunshine all year long, making it possible to thrive and live.
These successes are a clear indication of Indonesia’s excellence in natural resources, that will be important capital for businesses. Sukanto Tanoto said that his venture capital was not a large fund, but amazingly, RGE has been able to manufacture and produce all types of products for an international market. These were all made possible by Indonesia’s abundance of natural resources derived from the environment, and also the vision of Sukanto Tanoto.