Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's marine economy has a lot of room to grow and the country could become a high-income country in the next few years, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut B. Pandjaitan has said.

According to Pandjaitan, in 2045, the contribution of the marine sector to the national economy would rise by twofold and continue to grow.

At the opening of the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum here on Tuesday, he said that given the current trend, he believes that Indonesia would become a high-income country in 10 years.

If this continues, within the next three decades, Indonesia could become a developed country, he added.

One of the marine results that can be developed is seaweed cultivation, which is being pursued in Buleleng, Bali, he informed.

The development of seaweed is important because it can serve as a biofuel, fertilizer, and food. It can also clean the sea and capture carbon emissions.

Moreover, Indonesia has more than 200 seaweed species, but only three species are currently being developed.

According to Pandjaitan, this is where entrepreneurs in the marine and maritime sector can play an important role.

This is because they can act as the main drivers of economic growth in the blue sector, create new jobs, and contribute to the income and prosperity of shoreline residents.

In addition, to achieve that goal, a conducive system for innovation and investment in the blue sector needs to be created.

Meanwhile, one of the main topics discussed at the AIS Forum was plastic waste in the sea. Pandjaitan said that within the next 3 years, Indonesia will process almost 30 thousand tons of waste per day.

According to the minister, this is an extraordinary step from Indonesia to remove plastic waste entering the sea.

This will put Indonesia at the forefront of sea clean-up efforts. So far, the country has managed to reduce the volume of plastic waste entering the sea by 27 percent, he informed.

In addition, 600 thousand hectares of mangroves are also being restored and 400 thousand hectares of them have already been replanted.

This serves as a good example for fellow island states, especially countries in the Pacific that may be affected by the 1.5 degrees rise in the earth’s temperature, which has caused the sea level to rise.

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Translator: Maria C G P, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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