TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti hailed fisheries transportation as the main key in increasing Indonesia`s revenue. She also claimed that Indonesia has the highest GDP compared to other Southeast Asian countries and could continue to do so if problems of transportation are fixed.
“Fish products travel halfway across Indonesia before it is exported,” said Minister Susi during a public lecture at University of Indonesia on Tuesday, October 17.
Susi asserted that fishery products cannot be compared to other consumer products. According to the minister, fishery products with the highest value are fresh fishes while canned and salted fish products have the lowest value.
The minister explained that the main challenge of shipping out fresh fishes is the complicated route which is taking too much time. That situation forces exported fish products to be frozen to preserve its freshness, even though the prices are not too high.
An alternative transportation to deliver fresh fish, according to Minister Susi, is to have its cargo sent overseas by airplane and the establishment of airports located in coastal areas is also a must. However, she said that it would be a tall order, considering that the airport she manages needs more than 20 years to obtain a permit.
Susi Pudjiastuti said that during her term as a minister for the past two years, it was the first time Indonesia’s GDP was able to defeat Thailand and Malaysia. But she reminded that the Indonesia’s GDP could possibly drop if the transportation problem does not get fixed.
M. JULNIS FIRMANSYAH