The meeting, involving 21 country members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), was opened by Deputy Coordinating Minister for Maritime Sovereignty from the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs Arif Havas Oegroseno in Pullman Hotel Jakarta, Monday.
"We want the meeting to result in not only exchange of views on blue economy, but also the discussion around how the IORA member countries can work together in implementing the concept," said Havas.
For that reason, he further explained that the meeting will be separated in three sessions, which include working sessions, senior official meeting sessions and ministerial meeting sessions.
He further stated that the issues that will be brought to the table include fisheries, cooperation between harbors, partnership in customs, marine tourism and plastic marine debris.
In the working session, he continued, the event will feature speakers who are experts in their respective fields.
"We have invited experts from Prakarsa Segitiga Karang to speak about coral reefs, Fisheries and Food Sustainability (CTI-CFF), BRI, Exim Bank Indonesia, Pelindo, as well as maritime issues observers," he stated.
There will also be discussions around the potentials for harbor cooperation between IORA member countries.
"I have done my observation from the economic perspectives, as it turned out, there is no communication that is taking place between the harbors in the IORA member countries, there is only one that is being carried out through the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, as our priority market is in Europe, all while we forget about some of the biggest markets, including Africa," he pointed out.
The Ministerial Conference, he continued, is hoped to strengthen Indonesia's diplomacy with IORA member countries.
"The Indian Ocean stretches from Africa, Asia, all through to Europe and the economic potential is big, but there has yet to be an organization that can manage the potential well enough," he stated.
He then hoped for Indonesia to be able take on a bigger role in the effort to achieve political stability and security through various cooperations. (*)