The Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) is currently preparing a long-term blue economy development plan. Blue economy is a series of sustainable commercial activities, products, services and investments that depend on the sea as well as impact coastal and marine resources. The blue economy plan is co-developed with The Spectrum Solution Group (TSSG), a boutique strategy consulting and financial services firm headquartered in New York, N.Y.
TSSG’s Edward Chang explained that the blue economy is attracting global interest due to the impact it can have on the world economy and presents an important opportunity that must be optimized by Indonesia to further increase economic growth. Ocean-related and blue economy activities have always been essential to Indonesia environmentally, economically, and socially and are especially important since economic growth in the country continues to be under pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Therefore, the blue economy is a great opportunity to harvest economic benefits and help Indonesia to develop sustainable energy and resilient food sources. It is with these objectives in mind that we created the concept of Indoblue: a program of initiatives, guiding principles, and actions that will help Indonesia reimagine its Blue Economy beyond the status quo. IndoBlue aims to transform Indonesia’s Blue Economy that results in the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improvement of livelihoods and ocean ecosystem health, thereby maximizing the benefits while balancing the social, economic, and environmental factors during the transition process,” said Edward.
The blue economy can later also help the manufacturing sector to grow to new heights, among other sectors, such as the wild fisheries sector. This sector is the backbone of the blue economy; it provides seven million jobs and contributes more than US$27 billion to the national economy while serving as a cornerstone of social harmony in Indonesia’s coastal areas. Yet, According to the 2017 data from the National Commission on Stock Assessments, 38% of Indonesia’s wild fisheries were overfished, and a further 44% of stocks were fully fished.
“This depletion, along with insufficient data, and a lack of efficient stock management mechanism is posing huge risks to the nation’s well-being,” said Edward. “There are various manufacturing industry sectors that will benefit from the development of a blue economy in the wild fisheries sector, such as the seafood processing and packaging industry and the wild fisheries equipment assembly industry. With more efficient transport, storage, and supporting infrastructure these sectors have further potential for growth,” explained Edward.
Furthermore, through the development of the blue economy, relevant sectors in the aquaculture sector such as seaweed cultivation and processing, fish cultivation and processing, shrimp farming and fish farming equipment assembly are projected to grow over 250%.
Apart from wild fisheries and aquaculture, investment in the renewable energy sector can also help the Indonesian economy become more resilient and sustainable. “Sustainable marine energy can also play a critical role in Indonesia’s social and economic development and its efforts in climate change mitigation by providing a source of clean, renewable energy.
With the COVID-19 situation, the timing for pivoting to renewable energy is perfect. As the Indonesian government invests in rescue plans for industries, it makes sense to use this situation as the catalyst to “build back better” by supporting the renewable energy sector and providing incentives for foreign investors and market participants in the traditional power generation and energy sectors to diversify into renewable energy opportunities,” said Edward.
A blue economy strategy that will increase the growth of the manufacturing industry and thereby the national economy must be developed immediately, and Indonesia is fully committed to developing and achieving a sustainable blue economy. “Given all the benefits of the blue economy, it is important for Indonesia to be able to immediately develop a policy framework so that the potential of the blue economy can be utilized optimally,” said Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita.
Furthermore, Agus stated that the development of the blue economy must be able to provide benefits to the small and medium industries (SMEs) sector, given that they form the backbone of the national economy.
In addition, a comprehensive framework is essential when reviewing the blue economy to ensure that every action taken will provide more benefits than harm. For this reason, partners such as TSSG are needed to provide expertise and comprehensive experience in formulating frameworks and strategies for developing blue economies.
“Therefore, the Ministry of Industry is ready to cooperate with TSSG and other parties including potential international investors to formulate incentives and provide guarantees in developing a blue economy in Indonesia,” concluded Agus.
The Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin)
Marsela Stefanie, Media Relations, Jakarta
T: +62 819 2948-9001; E: Marselastefanie@gmail.com