Indonesia fit to serve as world maritime axis

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia which has geographical and demographical excellence can properly serve as the worlds maritime axis as what President Joko Widodo has announced, an official said.

"Geographically and demographically, Indonesia which is situated between two continents and two oceans, can serve as the worlds maritime axis. It plays an important role in the development of global economy and industry," Achmad Poernomo, the head of the Marine and Fisheries Research and Development Center of the Ministry of Marines and Fisheries, said here on Sunday.

Moreover, he said, Indonesia has marine and fisheries annual potential worth US$800 million dollars.

The economic potential of Indonesias marine sector can provide jobs for 40 million people, Poernomo said.

Based on the United Nations Convention of Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Indonesia has 5.8 million square kilometers of waters, much wider than its land which is only 1.9 million square kilometers.

However, the extraordinary potentials have not yet been optimally exploited.

Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has earlier said that Indonesia and France had established cooperation on sea observation infrastructure development.

The cooperation is held through an infrastructure development for oceanography program to strengthen Indonesia as a maritime state.

She said that the infrastructure is supported by a radar, optics and meteorological satellite technology and a regional sea observation system. It will begin operation in 2014.

Its operation will fully be handled by the Indonesian government in 2016.(*)