The Historical Basis of Aceh Socio-Economics Development (1511-1904)
Dr. Mehmet Özay
It is vital to see the connection between experiences in history and contemporary developments in almost all corners of the world. Regions which appear as leading powers in economic developments have historically had their own particular dynamics. In the event that the dynamics of the past uncover the true means to go forward, it will trigger the path of progress at an unexpected time, when similar conditions are met. Taking this condition into account with regard to Aceh, we see that Aceh has been a potential candidate for the newly emerging economic development centers in Southeast Asia after the disastrous event on 26th December, 2004, pursuant to which the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Helsinki was signed by the related sides on 15thAugust, 2005. To assess and evaluate the possibilities and opportunities that open up before Aceh Province by virtue of the MoU, the tradition of economic developments in history should be revisited and evaluated. It might be assumed that the reflections from the past will certainly enlighten the future. This article suggests that the economic development of the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam in the past might be a starting point for all parties in Aceh Province to deduce exactly how to deal with prevailing difficulties so as to commence economic progress in the region. It is considered that historical experiences are repetitive. The significance of Aceh was based on several diverse factors, primarily its state structure, economic activities, and geo-strategic position on the extreme northwest of Sumatra, that allowed it to be a part of the international sea trade between the east and the west between the 16th and 19thcenturies. These characteristics propelled Aceh to become not only a prominent region, but also gain supremacy in global partnerships in the business of international trade. After the peace agreement celebrations, it is the need of the hour for all social and economic sectors in Aceh Province to trigger the potentiality of their region by looking at their flourishing past.
Keywords:Aceh Sultanate, Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean, trade business.http://kutaksam.karabuk.edu.tr/index.php/ilk/article/view/14/39