Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called for more infrastructure development projects and increased sea toll routes to boost the country's maritime industry.
"The economic potential in the maritime and fishery sector is as high as $1.3 trillion. We should capitalize on that," Jokowi said in his opening remarks at the National Coordination Meeting on the Maritime Sector in East Jakarta on Thursday (04/05).
The government has begun initiating new sea toll routes to connect eastern regions of the archipelago, which many believe will ultimately lower commodity prices by reducing or cutting off transportation fees.
"In eastern Indonesia, residents have already felt the effects of lower [commodity] prices, which have dropped by 20-25 percent. I still think we can lower that number, however, when we open more [sea toll] routes," Jokowi said.
The government has also built new seaports across the archipelago in recent years and improved crumbling facilities at existing ones.
"There will also be a lowering of logistic and transportation expenses, since we can directly ship to neighboring countries," the president added.
Jokowi urged officials from various ministries to focus on developing improved sea docks and shipping services and to attract new investments in the industry.
"If the management [of maritime potential] is not innovative or conducive to new breakthroughs, do not expect magic […] We are confronted with an enormous task."
Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Maritime and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti also attended Thursday's coordination meeting.
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