RI, Vietnam to determine common fishing corridors

The government would combine fishery and rice sectors into one format for cooperation namely food cooperation.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Vietnam have agreed to cooperate in determining certain maritime corridors where both countries could conduct fishing operations.

"We will regulate where Vietnam and Indonesia can conduct fishing operations in corridors that we will determine," chief economic minister Hatta Rajasa said here on Wednesday after accompanying President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at Merdeka Palace.

Hatta said the fishery sector is one of Indonesia`s prime sectors and therefore the government plans to use it for cooperation with friendly countries including Vietnam.

He said the government would combine fishery and rice sectors into one format for cooperation namely food cooperation.

Hatta admitted that rice is Vietnam`s prime product and that Indonesia has recently imported rice from that country.

"However we must never think that Indonesia will always import rice. No, someday we certainly will also export," he said.

Regarding cooperation in the fishery sector he said the two countries also agreed to conduct joint patrol to prevent various crimes on the border especially fish poaching.

Indonesia and Vietnam also agreed to immediately settle discussion on the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) border. The EEZ is set at 200 miles from the coastline of a country.

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the commitment to settle the EEZ border had been made since President Yudhoyono`s visit to Vietnam in 2010.

He said the discussion of the border would likely be accelerated in the next four months` time.

"This is important in terms of a wider context because with the success of the negotiations we wish to show to countries in the region that border problems could be settled through negotiations," he said.

He said an agreement on international maritime border could not be achieved in a short time due to procedures and special forums that should be passed.

He said he hoped the procedures and discussion forums could be carried out smoothly so that the two countries would have understanding on their maritime border.(*)