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Indonesian government looking for foreign investment in fisheries

Source: channelnewsasia.com

Indonesia is looking to further open up its fisheries sector to foreign investors, including in the areas of aquaculture, production, processing, cold storage and logistics and the fish market.

According to Indonesian marine affairs and fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti, the government is exploring allowing foreign companies to fully own fishery-related businesses in Indonesia.

“It is our task to change the regulation we have at the moment, where foreign (companies) cannot own more than 40% of an Indonesian processing and food technology business. We are planning to increase this to 100%. But for fishing, we will close (Indonesian waters) to foreign fishing vessels. Fishing will only be for Indonesians,” said Susi.

She was speaking in Singapore at a lecture titled ‘Understanding Indonesia’s Marine Policy: Economic and Security Challenges’. She also said it is important that Indonesia strengthens its domestic orientation to protect the basic needs of its population of 250 million. While this does not mean excluding foreign investment, it should not come at the expense of the security and stability of its people’s livelihoods, such as its fishermen.

Part of her ministry’s efforts to protect the sovereignty of its waters by deterring illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, has been to sink foreign boats. According to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, his nation loses over US$20 billion a year to illegal fishing.

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