I want it to continue to be organized to properly keep our marine resources and to return our maritime culture."
North Kayon (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Saturday opened the main event of Sail Karimata 2016 which took place at Pulau Datuk beach in Sukadana, North Kayong District, West Kalimantan.

"I want to remind that 71 percent of Indonesian territory is made up of sea water which serves not only for our feature but also to hold more than 17 thousand islands in our country. In addition, the sea does not separate us but unites us together," President Jokowi remarked in his opening address.

In the company of among others Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan as the chairman of Sail Karimata national committee, Tourism Minister Arif Yahya, and West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis, the head of state opened the Sail Karimata main event by pressing a siren.

On the occation, Jokowi conveyed a sense of joy and gratitude to friendly countries, participating in such an international maritime event which is organized every year.

"This international maritime event should not be stopped or restricted with a mere ceremony, but I want it to continue to be organized to properly keep our marine resources and to return our maritime culture," Jokowi said.

He mentioned that the ocean must be protected from illegal fishing and pollution because it is the driver of national economy.

"We are currently developing our marine tourism such as that of Bunaken Marine Park, Tomini Bay, Karimata Strait, Raja Ampat, and many more. We are building marine tourism supporting infrastructure and facilities with intensive promotion to introduce beautiful places in Indonesia worldwide," the president noted.

In the meantime, Maritime Affairs Minister Panjaitan explained that eight provinces in Indonesia took part in the Sail Karimata international maritime event 2016.

"It aims to encourage and accelerate the development of disadvantaged areas. We will evaluate and try to make it a sustainable program," Panjaitan said.

The maritime affairs minister added that to encourage the tourism sector, numerous supporting infrastructure and facilities such as public toilets have been built.

"In addition, some 200 units of houses have been built for fishermen, and we will continue to follow it up," the minister said, adding that Sail Karimata 2016 is also participated in by 36 participants from foreign countries and most of them are from the United States.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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