Govt to Launch Maritime Economic Baseline

March 7, 2016, Jakarta Post

The government is drafting a maritimr economic baseline, a measure taken to determine how much the maritime sector contributes to the economy.

The baseline, the first of its kind in the country, will be launched at the end of this year, according to the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister.

“We are crating a benchmark [to be used to boost the contribution of the maritime sector to the economy],” the assistant to the coordinating maritime affairs minister on maritime sovereignty, Arif Havas Oegroseno, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. “Indonesian doesn’t have a definitive figure that can firmly staste how much of our GDP [Gross Domestic Product] comes from the maritime sector.

He said that the ministry was working together with the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) to make the baseline.

According to him, the baseline will provide a thorough analysis of the economic contribution of the maritime sector.

“For example, is offshore exploration part of the maritime sector? What if we produce a war vessel yhet is purchased by Thailand? What about hotels at seashores, how do we categorize them? The analysis has to be very deep,” said Havas.

The benchmark will also take into account the salaries paid by the government to the Navy, drawing an example from the Netherlands.

“We are learning from other countries that already have maritime economic baselines. In Europe, only the Netherlands and France have them. In the Netherlands, the salaries of the Navy are also calculated because they are paid from the state budget and thus everything that comes from state budget to the maritime sector has to be taken into account,” Havas said.

The maritime economic baseline will be used to measure the progress the government made in developing the maritime sector in the archipelago, he said.

“Let’s say this year we pool the data and conclude that 25 percent of our economy is derived from the maritime sector. Do we want to push it next year to 26 or 27 percent?” said Havas.

The baseline is a part of a national maritime policy being developed by the government in a bid to transform the largest archipelagic country in the world into a strong maritime force and global maritime axis.

The policy would be issued in the form of presidential regulation (Perpres) by the end of the first quarter, Havas said, adding that it would be the first national policy to involve all stakeholders, from the government to civil society.

There will be 10 points in the policy: maritime culture and identity, infrastructure and connectivity, maritime economy, ocean governance, maritime spatial policy, maritime diplomacy, maritime defense, maritime education and research and technology.

As for maritime diplomacy, he said that Indonesia should take a leadership role in the global maritime industry.

“It goes beyond developing maritime partnerships. We have to find our niche that could make Indonesia become a leader,” said Havas.

National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) assistant for environment and natural resources, Endah Murniningtyas, said that the agency would ensure that the policy would be integrated into its development planning.

“The policy is crucial, which is why there will be a Perpres on it. But how will it be implemented?” she told the Post.

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