RI minister calls for strengthening of south sea pearl branding

RI minister calls for strengthening of south sea pearl branding

Fadel Muhammad. (ANTARA)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad has called for the strengthening of south sea pearl (SSP) branding as Indonesia supplies 53 percent of the world`s SSP demand.

"It`s pity if the SSP branding is not managed properly. I want this to become our image," Minister Fadel said in the opening of Pearl Festival 2011 at Grand Indonesia, here on Wednesday.

The festival is organized to promote pearl and educate the public about pearl. The presence of Miss Universe 2011, Leila Lopez, in the festival is expected to help increase the value of Indonesia`s SSP internationally.

Indonesia is the world`s largest producer of SSP which has unique characteristics in term of color and sparkle that make SSP popular in the international market.

SSP has been considered Indonesia`s main export commodity having high economic value and bright prospects.

The SSP cultivation businesses involve at least 27 medium and large scale companies employing more than 8,000 workers.

The value of the world`s pearl trade is estimated to reach up 1.5 billion US dollars annually. Indonesia is only able to earn up to 30 million US dollars in 2010 from its SSP exports.

Minister Fadel planned to revitalize the SSP business by among other things strengthening associations related to pearl cultivation, boosting promotion activities, and issuing a presidential decree on coastal land spatial to support the SSP cultivation business.

"In the near future a ministerial decree on pearl culture and trade will be issued," he said.

He said the decree would among other things regulate the standards of pearls that were brought into or taken out of the country.

He said a lot of pearls had been taken out of Indonesia easily in plastic bags by tourists due to the absence of regulations.