The Coordinating Minister for maritime Affairs has prepared four deputies although it not yet has a fixed budget. Four deputies, each of them with desk jobs including maritime sovereignty, natural resources, and services, infrastructure and development of marine life. “I could not mention the names of the officials,” Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Indroyono Susilo, told Business News (February 5).
The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs evaluates 100 working days, at first (working) with no staff, no organizational structure, no building and no budget. “But, we have the passion. We started moving and until recently we have formed four deputies.”
The situation is similar but not the same when the deceased former president, Abdurrahman Wahid or Gus Dur, established the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries Exploration (at the end of 1999). At that time, there was no nothing. The department was filled with four desks, six directors. “We are familiar with limitations. We recruit staff Application), inventor of ping locater. Gradually, we fixed the office of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs.”
Marine sector is also not free from various maritime conventions, maritime agreements, and their international organizations. Indonesian maritime sector can move quickly, because reliable human resources can be parallel with the understanding of the law of the sea. Moreover, fisheries diplomacy on the high seas is also very important for maritime development. “Many treaties have been signed, but not yet ratified. For example, RFMO (Regional Fisheries Management Organization) regulation for tuna fish. Ratification to able to obtain tuna fishing quota. We must participate in RFMO, there are five of us. Thank god that we have joined there RFMOs, including the tuna commission, blue fin tuna. But, we have not ratified the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission.”
For the marine tourism sector, the coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs has provided addition of visa-free facilities to five countries. Previously, the Indonesian government has given the facility to 15 countries. “Now we added four countries, including visa on arrival, i.e. china, Japan, South Korea, Russia and Australia. The process is already running, except for China. Because the Directorate General of Immigration of the Ministry of Justice and Human Right needs preparation of three months”.
Indroyono saw the need for a visa-free break-through, thus increasing tourist arrivals. The most obvious example is China. Along with its rapid economic growth, the Chinese people are fond of traveling abroad. Visa-free short visit for the five countries which are major markets of Indonesian tourism. “We can get an extra 450 thousand tourists from these four countries. The number is equivalent to USD 500 million of revenue per year. We do not think of the reciprocal principle, but the principle of benefit. Not necessarily reciprocal. Compare with Malaysia which provides the same facility to 64 countries. And, Thailand to 50 countries. The two countries have a great number of foreign tourist visits, and it continues to increase every year. We can only give visa-free facility for 19 countries. We still have to struggle to get 20 million foreign tourists.”
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs set a target of 10 million foreign tourists per year 2015. The calculation is for foreign tourists cost of 12 billion USD per year in 2014. So if the target of 10 billion tourists is achieved, the state managed to boost foreign exchange earnings of USD 24 billion. So that the visa exemption policy for the five countries is not something harmful. Indroyono also dismissed any doubt or fear of smuggling practice behind the ease of visa. “If there is fear, may be the culprit is just two or there persons. But tourists from China to all over the world reached 100 million people every year. If we assume that 800 thousand Chinese tourists are visiting Indonesia, the benefits are far greater than questioning there people who do smuggling.”
The coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs has heard the complaints of Chinese tourists. They admitted that it is complaints of Chinese tourism. They admitted that it is difficult to get a visa to Indonesia. Many Chinese people outside Beijing ultimately wasted their time to get a visa “They have to arrange for visa at the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing and Indonesian Consulate General. They wanted to take a vacation, enjoy the marine tourism in Indonesia. They called Indonesia as the last heaven on earth.”
Additionally, the coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs also improves the shipbuilding industry. Even Presidential Decree No. 180/2014 is synergistic with the industry development program. Visits of foreign yachts to Indonesia require a minimum of seven marinas. Mooring facility will be placed. The seven mooring facilities are Tanjung Pinang, Belitung, Labuan Bajo, Kupang, Ambon, and Saumlaki. 100 yachts were parked in Marina Batam each year. If seven marinas are completed, it is estimated that there are 1500 potential yachts coming to Indonesia. “Foreign yachts are permitted to moor for 30 days. We will accelerate the immediate completion of its development. We events are the Singapore straits regatta, Nepture Reggata, and so forth. So the cruise ships will arrive. We would also prepare in Jakarta, Benoa (Bali), Semarang, and Surabaya.” (E)
Business News - February 6, 2015