Batam is an island close to Singapore but part of Indonesia. Until the late 1970s it had a few thousand inhabitants that lived mostly on the produce of land, forests and sea. Like Shenzhen, it all changed in late 1970s and early 1980s. Batam became an assembly line where cheap labour could assemble parts and products that would feed into the more advanced and capital intensive Singapore industry. Being an island it was an ideal location for a free trade zone and it was developed primarily for the electronics sector. Today it boasts of a well developed electronic zone with all major brand names and sub contractors having some sort of production and assembly facility in there. Products range from assembled electronic parts like hard disk, floppy drives, plastic parts and metal parts cut by stamping machines. At present the total population of Batam region has reached to about 900,000 and is still growing rapidly. It has about 350,000 workers who work in the formal sector and another 250,000 (official figure) informal workers.