Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated that with 17 thousand islands and the total expanse of water reaching 6.4 million square kilometers, Indonesia is the world's largest archipelagic nation.
"Indonesia's great maritime potential and triumph made the first President of the Republic of Indonesia, Bung Karno, call for it to 'Go back to being an oceanic nation' and decide, to make today, September 23 as National Maritime Day 56 years ago," he stated in a video address during the National Maritime Day Commemoration webinar on Wednesday.
The minister is optimistic that the maritime development idea, currently being pursued by President Jokowi, will be able to materialize Indonesia's vision to transform into a global maritime fulcrum.
"Bearing the theme of reviving the maritime national identity as the basis for sustainable development, I, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, invite all Indonesians to make Nusantara maritime the pride of all of us. Happy National Maritime Day," Minister Pandjaitan stated.
Meanwhile, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi expressed belief that National Maritime Day offered a momentum to optimize the entire maritime sector in supporting the government's plan to make Indonesia the world's maritime fulcrum.
"The Ministry of Transportation continues to provide the best services that can strengthen the maritime sector in Indonesia. I hope all of us are optimistic of being able to restore Indonesia's glory as a great maritime nation that is respected by nations in the world. Happy National Maritime Day," Minister Sumadi noted.
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama invited the younger generation to be more heedful and observant of Indonesia’s marine potential and help the government in maintaining its maritime strength.
"Do not think of the oceans as separators, but the oceans actually unite us as a great nation in maintaining the strength of the archipelago. Let us make this day a momentum to increase awareness of safeguarding maritime and national sovereignty and utilizing all its potential for the prosperity and welfare of the Indonesian people in future," Wishnutama remarked.
Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia also seized the opportunity to invite the public to partake in maintaining and utilizing the maritime potential for the welfare of the Indonesian nation.
"Let us revive the identity of the maritime nation as a basis for sustainable development since we have to preserve the natural resources at sea for the sustainability of our children and grandchildren and welfare of the people for the realization of a just and prosperous society," he remarked.
Meanwhile, Minister of Forestry and Environment, Siti Nurbaya, believes that National Maritime Day offered the necessary impetus for Indonesia to triumph as a maritime nation.
Nurbaya believes that the sea is a gift from God in the form of vast potential for the welfare of Indonesians.
"The current government continues to develop these potentials by making various changes and preparing various policies, so that the sea is more productive to become the source of welfare for Indonesian people and for the strength of the Indonesian people. Make Indonesia the world's maritime axis. Let us celebrate the oceans. Happy National Maritime day," the minister reiterated.
National Maritime Day was set by first President of Indonesia Soekarno through Presidential Decree No. 249 of 1964 on observing September 23 as National Maritime Day.
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