Malukus marine and fisheries potential is huge and varied, and has a high economic value. Hence, the government should make a breakthrough and implement concrete steps to change the paradigm of regional development, which should be oriented to the sea.
Speaking at a seminar on "Export Potential of the Golden Fishing Ground" in the provincial city of Ambon on Thursday, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Deputy Chairman for Banking and Finance Rosan Perkasa Roeslani stated that development in the province must be oriented to the sea.
Roeslani noted that Kadin had lent its support to Maluku province as the center for conducting maritime research and studies in the country.
"Taking into account Malukus huge maritime and fisheries potential with high economic value, we fully support the province as the center for conducting maritime research and studies in Indonesia," Roeslani remarked.
He noted that the seminar in Ambon, organized by Kadin and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, aimed to boost exports of small and medium entrepreneurs.
Therefore, Roeslani remarked that all parties should be motivated to come and conduct in-depth studies on all maritime issues in Maluku.
"Anyone, especially young people, interested in exploring issues related to the maritime sector can come to Maluku to study," he pointed out, adding that all studies did not necessarily have to be conducted in only Jakarta or other parts of the country.
Roeslani affirmed that he would also encourage businesses, including from foreign countries, to visit Maluku and study the provinces maritime issues.
He affirmed that Maluku offered a variety of opportunities to study maritime objects in terms of fisheries, aquaculture, coastal areas, marine parks, and a wealth of marine life, with high economic value in the global market.
He emphasized that Maluku is the center of fisheries and the nations fish barn, and therefore, the province should be placed at the forefront of maritime studies for special reasons.
The Kadin deputy chairman for banking and finance also voiced his support to the Maluku provincial government to gain recognition as the nations fish barn.
The government has declared Maluku as the national fish barn since the area has a huge fishery potential of 1.64 million tons per year to improve the prosperity of the province and the nation.
Maluku has 600 thousand square kilometers of sea, with extensive marine resources for the prosperity of the local people and to support economic growth.
Malukus fishery potential is concentrated in three Fishery Management Areas (WPP) --- the Banda Sea, Seram Sea, and Arafura Sea --- that are also referred by several countries and fishery entrepreneurs as the "golden fishing ground."
The fishery production from these three WPP in Maluku can reach 1.64 million tons per year, or around 26.3 percent of the nations fishery potential.
Data from Malukus Central Bureau of Statistics indicated that in September 2015, Malukus export realization reached US$11.04 million, a significant increase compared to that recorded in August 2015.
The total export value in Maluku from January to September 2015 reached US$31.25 million, which comprised US$3.75 million from the exports of fishery and shrimp commodity, US$26.47 million from mineral fuels, and US$1.03 million from other commodities.
China was Malukus leading export destination country, with exports amounting to US$16.54 million followed by the Republic of Korea at US$11.04 million.
Roeslani emphasized that Kadin will also help to boost Small Medium Businesses (UKM) in Maluku, especially for those who develop the local flagship potential but encounter difficulties in sourcing capital.
He stated that Kadin will assist the UKM through banks and other financial institutions.
With regard to several approaches to develop the local potentials, new entrepreneurs in Maluku can capitalize on the potential of small businesses currently facing funding problems.
"Through the Palapa Nusantara Berdikari capital institution, Kadin will select potential UKM in Maluku based on certain standards to obtain capital and mentoring to develop a business that has been initiated," he emphasized.
Maluku Governor Said Assagaff shed light on the presence of the integrated fishing firm PT Maritim Timur Jaya (MTJ) in Tual, Southeast Maluku District.
"MTJ is the largest firm in the fishing industry in Maluku province and is also the biggest contributor to the regional revenue," the Maluku governor stated during a visit to the fishing firm in Tual some time ago.
Assagaff noted that both the Maluku provincial and Tual city administrations will continue to encourage PT MTJ to increase its operations to help improve the local peoples welfare, particularly the fishermen.
"We fully support the operations of this company as it has contributed significantly to improving the fishermens welfare," the governor noted.
He pointed out that the presence of the fishing company, as part of the Artha Graha groups network, is the embryo to embody the vision of the government and the people to make Maluku province the nations fish barn.
He lauded the progress achieved and PT MTJs investment in the fisheries sector in the eastern part of Indonesia.
According to the governor, PT MTJ is the most complete and advanced fishing firm in the eastern regions of Indonesia.