Jakarta. Indonesia will cooperate with Denmark and Norway to improve its fishing industry and make it more environmentally friendly.
Speaking at the first Indonesian, Danish and Norwegian Maritime Innovation event, which kicked off in Central Jakarta on Monday (28/11), Danish Ambassador Casper Klynge said the two Scandinavian countries hope to assist Indonesia in becoming a global maritime power.
"If we can play a small role in it, we will be very glad," Klynge said. "We are very proud to be here today. We have 33 companies with us today ready to do business and invest in Indonesia; I think this is a remarkable event."
Among the companies attending the event are Danish energy firm Danfoss, Norwegian shipping company Wilh. Wilhelmsen and digital solutions provider Kongsberg Digital.
While Denmark has only 0.1 percent of the world's population, ships operating by Danish companies carry 10 percent of the total international freight.
Denmark and Norway are pioneers in maritime technology and among the top 10 ship-operating nations.
Norwegian Ambassador Stig Traavik expressed his hope that the event will be the beginning of something much bigger.
"Indonesia has a great history and ambitions in the maritime sector, and so do Norway and Denmark. Sometimes it's necessary to join together. Norway and Denmark have since long been doing this. There are times we compete, but when it comes to important [issues], we cooperate," Traavik said. He added that Indonesia's maritime future is one such issue.
Under Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's presidency, Indonesia has embarked on a mission to become a global maritime power. While fishing activities are not open to foreign investment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti welcomed potential investors in the seafood processing sector.
"We are completely open to seafood processing. We welcome investors to buy and process Indonesian seafood for export, or for the domestic market," Susi said.
With a population of around 250 million people, Indonesia's annual seafood consumption stands at 46 kilograms per person. The minister said the government aims to increase that to 51 kg per person.
She pointed out that Denmark and Norway are ideal partners for Indonesia to help it become a maritime power, as both excel at fishing, shipping and offshore energy services.