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Indonesian government reaffirms maritime as main development sector

posted Oct 15, 2015, 8:37 PM by Brook Ross
Abridged from Antara News, August 21, 2015, by Fardah

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who is determined to develop Indonesia as a global maritime axis, believes that the clusters of islands and vast waters in Indonesia could be used as one of the main axis for advancing the country. The head of state also emphasized that the nation needs to promote its maritime identity and culture in line with its vision to become the global maritime axis. The government, therefore, has identified the maritime sector as one of its main sectors for development.

"We have so far ignored them and never given them attention while the fact is that two thirds of the Indonesian territory are waters and it is a huge potential," he said in an interview with Antara news agency, state-owned TVRI and state-run RRI on August 12, 2015. He said one way to boost the countrys economic growth was infrastructure development to smooth distribution of goods by land and sea. "We wish to start paying attention to it, develop it physically and build shipyards as interconnection between the islands is very important in addition to maritime education," he said. He said among big seaports to be built are Kuala Tanjung measuring 2,000 hectares, Tanjung Priok whose capacity will be increased to accommodate bigger flows of goods, Teluk Lamong in Surabaya, Makassar port in South Sulawesi and Sorong port in Papua.

The nation must re-explore Indonesias maritime culture to achieve sovereignty in the sector that is supported by good economic conditions and abundant resources, Jokowi emphasized. "Indonesia is a maritime nation. It must preserve and utilize its marine resources seriously. This way, we can realize the international maritime axis program to strengthen our national, regional and global position," he remarked. The government, he added, is processing the strategy of the maritime axis program to be implemented as the Indonesian National Maritime Policy. Furthermore, Jokowi called on all stakeholders to do their utmost to save oceans from the impacts of climate change, which threatens maritime resources and fisheries in the country. "Oceans that face the threat of climate change must be saved," he said.