President Jokowi Instructs Ministers to Develop Natuna Economy
President Joko Jokowi Widodo on Thursday (23/6) visited Natuna waters and led a limited meeting on board KRI Imam Bonjol to assert that the Natuna Islands is part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).
The President also hopes the economy in Natuna Islands could be developed, particularly on fisheries as well as oil and gas sectors.
The President gave directives only on two points, the economy and sovereignty. I believe that we do not want any party disrupting security and stability in the region, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan told the reporters.
The limited meeting was carried out in the Natuna waters because the President has never been here and he wants to observe the primary weaponry defense system (alutsista), Luhut said.
The President also plans to divert around 6,000 fishing ships from Java to Natuna. It will be better if our people who explores the areas rather than other people, Luhut added.
Previously, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said that President Jokowis administration has always been prioritizing the development of Indonesias outermost regions as well as maintaining and preserving state sovereignty which is a derivative of the policy determined by President Jokowi since the beginning of his administration.
This time, the Presidents attention is on Natuna Islands as one of Indonesias outermost island and area, Retno said.
After listening to the explanation of several ministers, the President instructed to develop the economy in Natuna Islands and its surrounding areas, particularly on fisheries, and oil and gas.
I have already discussed with Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) and he told me that there are approximately 16 oil and gas blocks in the Natuna waters, which 5 blocks have been producing and the other 11 are under exploration stage. In the meantime, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti also explained the development of fisheries sector particularly on the construction of center for integrated marine and fisheries, Retno said.
On that occasion, Indonesian National Defence Forces (TNI) Commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo conveyed a plan to develop the defense infrastructure in Natuna and its surrounding areas.
Those were the points discussed in the limited meeting, Retno added.
Retno admitted that this is not the first limited meeting conducted on the ground. Previously, the President also had limited meetings in Borobudur and Toba.
Besides visiting Natuna, the President also had visited another outermost islands border with Papua, Malaysia, or Timor Leste. (UN/ES) (RAS/EP/YM/Naster)