Trade covered progressively greater distances as technologies became more advanced, allowing merchants to travel not only locally but across great stretches of land and sea. The Malay Peninsula and the Indonesia Archipelago lie between the Indian Ocean and the China Seas, and therefore have always been extremely important points along the trade routes. India was also vital, as trade could be shipped from the Malabar Coast directly to Africa and the Red Sea, and thus as far as the Mediterranean. 

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