Jakarta. Indonesia is making efforts towards achieving a sustainable and inclusive use of ocean resources —also known as the blue economy— with Sweden.
Both countries inked a joint statement on blue economy cooperation during the National Development Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa’s visit to Sweden in October. Sweden is also supporting the making of Indonesia’s blue economy roadmap.
“Sweden has been identified as a strategic partner to develop the blue economy roadmap in line with the 2020-2024 Indonesian national medium-term development plan,” Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia Marina Berg told a conference on Thursday.
The ocean is vital to the economy, welfare, and prosperity of both countries.
“A competitive, innovative, and sustainable maritime sector can contribute to increase employment, reduce environmental impact, and an attractive living environment,” Marina said.
"Leadership on the blue economy will be an important issue for Indonesia during its G-20 presidency, [as] one of the priorities in the development working group," she added.
According to Suharso, about two-thirds of Indonesia’s territories comprise the ocean, spanning over 6.4 million square kilometers. Indonesia enjoys abundant ocean economic potential, ranging from fisheries, tourism to maritime industry and services.
“It is estimated that Indonesia’s ocean economic potential reaches $1.3 billion, and could provide jobs to 45 million people,” Suharso told the same discussion.
The picturesque coral reefs are also crucial to marine-based tourism, fisheries, and coastal infrastructure development. Suharso revealed a sustainable coral reefs management could generate an additional $37 billion to Indonesia's economy by 2030.
"Indonesia's transition to a blue economy is expected to reduce the country's economic reliance on extractive sectors," the minister said.
The conference is part of the annual Sweden-Indonesia Sustainability Partnership (SISP) Week. Sweden puts great emphasis on advancing sustainability in its diplomatic relations with Indonesia. According to Marina, Sweden is keen on further deepening its ties with Indonesia in the said field.
“We see great opportunities for cooperation on moving the sustainability agenda forward during Indonesia’s G-20 presidency, and also during 2023 when Sweden holds the EU [European Union] presidency and Indonesia being the chair of Asean,” Marina said when kicking off the SISP Week 2021 on Monday.