Indonesia invites Japanese firms to invest in fish shipment

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) -  A total of 13 Japanese companies were invited to explore the opportunities to ship fish from eastern Indonesia such as Makassar in South Sulawesi.

The government has invited Japanese companies to invest in fish shipment and cold storage services to take advantage of Indonesia’s growing fish production, especially in the eastern part of the country.

The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry held a meeting recently with 13 Japanese companies, including trading company Hanwa, temperature-controlled logistics company Nichirei Logistics Group and logistics transport provider PT Seino Indomobil Logistics Services.

The meeting was part of a visit organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), which assisted the companies in exploring investment opportunities in Indonesia.

After the meeting, Rifky Effendi, director general of product competitiveness at the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, said the government was exploring opportunities to establish a transhipment hub for fish exports in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

"We are planning to develop direct shipment [infrastructure] in eastern Indonesia, such as in Makassar,” he said in Jakarta.

Rifky said the lack of direct shipment had often hampered fish exports as fish from the eastern part of Indonesia should first be shipped to Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, East Java, Bali or Jakarta before being shipped overseas.

By establishing a shipping hub in Makassar, the fish from the eastern regions can be directly exported to Indonesia’s main fish buyers, such as Japan and China.

Aside from visiting Makassar, the Japanese trade delegation was scheduled to visit Bitung and Manado, both in North Sulawesi, to explore opportunities to invest in shipment and cold storage services, Rifky said.

JETRO’s Jakarta office president director Keishi Suzuki said Indonesia’s fishing industry was attractive because the government had implemented stern measures, including a fishing moratorium and crackdown on illegal fishing, to protect marine resources in the archipelago.

“Japanese investors see the government’s move in making fisheries sustainable. Our investors will explore more business opportunities in the sector,” Suzuki said.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said earlier in the meeting that with the development of a direct shipping hub, Indonesia could further increase its fish exports, especially tuna, to Japan and other countries.

According to the ministry, Japan is the third biggest investor in the fishery sector in Indonesia after Singapore and the Philippines. Rifky said Japan’s investment in the fishery sector, mainly in aquaculture, fish processing and trading, stood at Rp 500 billion (US$35.6 million) as of 2017.

The ministry said fish production had been growing over the last three years. Its data shows that fish production in 2018 was 6.7 million tons of fish, a 5 per cent increase from a year earlier.

As for fish exports, seafood products were worth $4.89 billion last year, an 8.18 per cent increase from 2017. The products have been exported to various countries and regions, such as the United States, Japan, China, Europe and ASEAN.

The US is the biggest importer of Indonesia’s shrimp and tuna, while China is the biggest for squid and seaweed.

Rifky said Japan was also a big importer of Indonesia's shrimp and tuna.

Between January and November last year, shrimp and tuna exports stood at $312.66 million and $94.55 million respectively.

“We hope that the Japanese will invest more so we can also increase our fish exports to Japan,” he said.

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