We Don’t Turn Our Back on the Seas, President Jokowi Says

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 6 April 2016
Category: News
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President Jokowi delivers his remarks at the inauguration of five seaports in Tobelo Seaport, Halmahera Utara Regency, Wednesday (6/4)

President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo said that Indonesia is a big archipelagic country, in which two thirds of the country’s territorial areas are sea; thus, the Government would continue maritime development all over Indonesia.

“When I meet heads of states, heads of government, prime ministers, or presidents from other countries, I always tell them that Indonesia has (around) 17,000 islands. Then they ask me: how do I manage? I said, we must connect them.

There must be connectivity among provinces, among islands. Two thirds of Indonesia’s territorial areas are sea, while the remaining one third is land. Therefore, we have to focus on seas, seaports because we are an archipelagic nation,” the President said in his remarks at the inauguration of five seaports at Tobelo Seaport, Halmahera Utara Regency on Wednesday (6/4).

Five seaports inaugurated by the President are Tobelo Saeport, Galela Seaport, Tutu Kembong Seaport, Wonreli Seaport, and Pulau Teor Seaport.

According to the President, last year the Government built three sea toll routes and this year the Government has added three more routes and will build more routes next year.

The President went on to say that history proves that Kingdom of Majapahit and Kingdom of Sriwijaya became big kingdoms because they prioritized seas and oceans.

“We do not turn our back on the seas. That’s what we are doing now. I have already instructed my ministers to build seaports in our islands,” the President said.

On that occasion, President Jokowi also said that the Government is concentrating on infrastructure development, de-regulation (simplifying regulations), and preparation of human resources and the three things must be prioritized to improve competitiveness, to accelerate decision making, and to provide job opportunities for the locals.

“Let me remind you Mr. Governor, Mr, Regent. We really have to prepare human resources. If there is gold mining here, for example, the children have to be sent to Faculty of Mining. Thank God there is a university here that has Faculty of Mining.  If there is an oil source mining here, we must provide Faculty of Petroleum, Faculty of Geology. This is a preparation that we have to make. If we have big mining or big oil mining, we must also have human resources needed,” the President said to local officials attending the event.

The President further said the Government built those seaports not only for human transportation but to facilitate good transportation as well.

However, he said that the availability of seaports in several locations does not necessarily lower the prices of goods because to transport goods also needs connectivity with other modes of transportation, depending on infrastructures available.

President Jokowi added that connectivity among cities and regencies and also among modes of transportation will make goods sold at the same price in all places.

“If all places are connected, the prices of goods will be sold at the same price,” the President said.

Also attending the inauguration were Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki, and Governor of North Maluku Province Abdul Gani. (DNS/SLN) (Naster/YM/EP)

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