Marine sector is vital for development: President Yudhoyono


Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Despite Indonesias achievements, there is still much work to do in the marine and fisheries sector, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said.

“There is still a lot to do. There are still things that we have not yet achieved at all,” he told attendees of a national coordination meeting of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, and a meeting of the Indonesian Marine Council at Istana Merdeka here on Thursday.

At the event, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine resources, Syarif Cicip Sutardjo, handed the president a report on the achievement of programs in the sector in 2013, as well as proposals issued by the Indonesian Marine Council.

Development of marine resources must become the direction for future Indonesian development because three-quarters of the countrys territory is water, the president said.

The potential of Indonesias marine resources have not yet been fully exploited, while land is limited and the nations population is expected to grow to 305 million by 2035.

The addition of a further 65 million people to the present population of around 250 million would result in an increased demand for food and energy by an estimated 40-70 per cent, the president said.

“We can no longer rely on land” to meet our food needs, he said.

The president noted that the implementation of the Master Plan for the Acceleration of Indonesian Economic Development (MP3EI) programs in various islands in the country would create growth on the islands.

The islands need marine transportation facilities to connect them and also for growth, he said.

There were, at minimum, two strategies needed to develop the marine sector: the first being to assure territorial integrity and security to maximize exploitation of marine potentials; and the second, being to assure the nations welfare, he said.

If security is assured, welfare programs will be able to be carried out most effectively, he added.

It is under this context that the government and all stakeholders plan strategies that are pro-people to improve their welfare, especially in coastal communities, he said.

The economic potential of the various marine sectors in Indonesia is estimated to reach US$1.2 trillion per year, including fisheries, sea transportation, marine industries, tourism, energy, mineral resources, infrastructure and others, Minister Cicip Sutardjo said.

The potential of these sectors is larger than the country’s current GDP, which is around US$1 trillion, he added.









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