"Indonesia supplies 43 percent of the world`s South Sea Pearls (SSPs), and it is the world`s largest producer of SSP," said Saut P. Hutagalung, director general of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs` Directorate General of Processing and Marketing of Fishery Products (PMFP).
He claims that Indonesia is ranked ninth in world trade, with export value of US$29,431,625 or 2.07 percent of the world`s pearl trade value at US$ 1,418,881,897.
This achievement places Indonesia below Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia, Tahiti, the United States, Switzerland, and England.
Meanwhile, export destinations of Indonesian pearls include Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Switzerland, New Zealand, and France.
Indonesia`s potential in this area can be enhanced by developing and strengthening the marketing sector.
Therefore, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs (MMAF) and other stakeholders are conducting a number of ground-breaking and intensive programs to raise the potential of pearl production in Indonesia.
One of the recently held programs is the 2013 Indonesia Pearl Festival (IPF). The festival is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the Indonesian pearls sector.
The SSP comes from the pinctada maxima oyster, both naturally and culturally cultivated.
Oyster development centers are spread throughout Lampung, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, North Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Maluku, North Maluku, and West Papua.
MMAF believes that Indonesia can increase the export value of pearls because it is blessed with a number of instrumental supporting factors such as land for cultivation, skilled labour, equipment, and technology.
To realize these targets, the MMAF has completed six development projects.
The projects include the Oyster Broodstock Centre development in Karang Asem, Bali, the establishment of the Non-consumptive Product Development Directorate under the MMAF`s Directorate General of Processing and Marketing of Fishery Products (PMFP), and the establishment of the Indonesian Pearl Sub-commission on the Fisheries Product Commission, under the coordination of PMFP DG.
Others include the Initiative of the Pearl Indonesian National Standards (SNI) Issuance, which has now been issued (ISO 4989:2011), and the partnership between MMAF and the Indonesian Association of Pearl Cultivation (ASBUMI) to conduct IPF annually and improve the quality, quantity, and the marketing of pearls in domestic and international markets.
IPF is an event that showcases SSP and is aimed at driving and bolstering Indonesia`s instrumental commodities, said the director general.
He mentioned that to further cement the Indonesian SSP's positioning in the international market, MMAF has established the Indonesian SSP International Branding by developing the marketing network among Indonesian pearl industry players.
Hutagalung continued that this event ensures the continuity and quality of the Indonesian SSP and brings together the aspirations of SSP industry players for marketing regulations.
In addition to the IPF, the ministry participated in the release of the "Indonesian South Sea Pearls" book written by Ingrid Mutiara Sutardjo and Nunik Arnuningsih at the APEC`s Women Inspiring Programme on September 6-7, 2013.
The event was attended by the State Minister for Women Empowerment and Child Protection Linda Amalia Sari and American businesswoman and former model Kimora Lee Simmons as well as 21 APEC delegation leaders and women delegations.
"As part of the 2013 IPF, we will organize the launch of the South Sea Pearls book on October 3, 2013," he concluded.
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