Indonesian seaports must be developed for global maritime axis: President

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesia needs to develop its seaports properly in a number of region to materialize its global maritime axis concept, according to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

“It would be impossible for us to become a world maritime axis if we do not have seaports that could accommodate large ships which would carry our products,” Jokowi stated in his State of the Nation Address, before members of the Parliament (DPR) and the Regional Representative Council (DPD), at the Parliament Building here on Wednesday.

It would be impossible for Indonesia to become a competitive country if its logistic cost is very expensive, he added.

Earlier, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti noted that integrated maritime and fisheries hubs (SKPT) should be developed in Indonesian waters areas to cut logistic burdens in the maritime and fisheries sectors.

“The development of SKPT is needed to cut logistic process and transportation route of fish caught by fishermen,” the minister remarked while signing an agreement with state oil and gas company PT Pertamina, in Jakarta, on July 31.

Prices of Indonesian fish products would be normal and inexpensive if the logistic process and transportation route were cut, she noted.

The cutting process would also allow Indonesian fishery products to be shipped to international markets directly.

“Now, fish from Morotai (North Maluku Province) is first taken to Bitung (North Sulawesi Province) in an eight-hour journey by boat. From Bitung, the fish is processed and transported to Makassar (South Sulawesi Province) and finally taken back to Bitung. Hence, it involves complicated cycles,” she added.

To address such a problem, the country should develop global shipping hubs; for instance, one in northeastern Indonesia as a hub to the Philippines, or in southern Papua as a hub to Australia.

Source: Antara News