The national maritime sector still great protential, which until now has not been fully optimized. Especially with Indonesia’s strategic position linking the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean an the Asian and Australian continents, the maritime sector should be a concern of the government. Therefore, government’s commitment to manage this sector is necessary in order to become a support of sustainable economic growth.
Chairman of Aquaculture Society and maritime expert, Rokhimin Dahuri, in Jakarta on Monday (October 20), considered that the performance of marine transportation sector in Indonesia is far behind from other countries that have lower maritime potential. It is said that in spite of the sea transport sector that experiences progress, as the largest archipelagic country in the world that becomes the global trade point, the performance of this sector is still low.
According to Rokhmin, indicators of poor performance of Indonesia’s marine transportation sector are, among others, since 1987 the policy for scrapping of old ships of over 20 years until 2010. Indonesia also spent foreign exchange revenue of averagely USD 15 billion/year to pay the transportation service of foreign vessels (exports-imports and domestic transportation between islands). In addition, the issue of cost of containers which is still problematic, such as the cost of container for transporting goods from Jakarta to Surabaya is twice more expensive than the cost of transportation from Singapore to Los Angeles and the cost of transporting oranges from Pontianak to Jakarta is IDR 1,500/kg. But, freight from China to Jakarta is only IDR 900/kg.
According to Rokhim, the cause of poor performance of marine transportation sector is compared with the market potential (volume of goods and passengers) and the size of Indonesian sea territory, quantity and quality (productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness) of Indonesian national fleet which is still low. In addition, the hardware and software in Indonesian ports, in general, are problematic, such as the low competitiveness of Indonesian ports. On other hand, Tanjung Priok and Tanjung Perak ports as an international hub port for exports and imports make Indonesia unoptimal in applying the cabotage principle as set forth in Law No. 27/2008 on Shipping.
Rokhmin said that none of the major countries in the world who is willing to give up national interest in the sea as they are aware of the great potential in the sea, from the biological potential to mineral deposits, such as gold, oil and gas. Large countries, such as the United States and China, made initiatives on maritime security and built strong fleets to secure their interests in the territorial seas.
According to the former Minister of Marine and fisheries, the Indonesia sea potential provides welfare and prosperity opportunities. Indonesia has Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covering an area of 2.4 million km2 with a variety of natural resource potentials ready for exploitation. The economic potential is promising for the prospects of achievement of economic performance which is capable of creating welfare for the people.
However, he acknowledged, as a developing country which lacks the technological capability to explore and exploit underwater resources, Indonesia should establish closer cooperation with technologically advanced countries to explore and exploit seabed energy resources. He explained that the marine economy potential can be developed from a variety of sectors, particularly capture fisheries, aquaculture sector, fishery processing sector, port services sector, port services sector, exploration and exploitation of offshore energy resources, particularly in the EEz area, coastal forestry, trade, shipping, and tourism.
In line with Rokhmin, Vice Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) for Marine and Fisheries Development, Yugi Prayanto, mentioned that there are several things that hampered marine potentials in Indonesia, among others, limited budget for the management of the marine sector. According to Yugi, limited budget in the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries became a problem that inhibits the development of marine potential. He compared the state budget for the fisheries sector which ranges between IDR 6 to 7 trillion per year. While, budget for the agricultural sector reaches IDR 20 trillion/year. (E)
Business News - October 24, 2014