Jokowi Must Boost Maritime Budget, Association Says

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    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Bobby Gafur Umar, Chairman of the Indonesian Engineers Association, has asked President Joko Widodo to increase budget allocation for the maritime sector in 2015 because it needs faster infrastructure development to overcome underdevelopment.

    "Indonesian seaports must at least have international standards," said Bobby on Wednesday, October 29, 2014.

    He said that the development of ports and its supporting infrastructures, could enhance the performance of the national logistic sector. Indonesia is currently sits in the 53rd position in terms of infrastructure, which is higher compared to the 59th position in 2012.

    He added that seaports in Indonesia are not yet ready to support the government's economic development plan in the maritime sector. The average capacity of seaports in Indonesia is still considerably small and can only accommodate vessels with small capacity under 3,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs).

    Bobby also reminded President Joko Widodo on his commitment to optimize marine potentials. This effort should be supported by a larger budget portion as the development budget distributed by the central government is still fixated on development of land infrastructure, such as toll roads, dams and irrigations, and has not taken into account marine potential factor that can be explored.

    AMOS SIMANUNGKALIT