Seminar on ” Identifying Priority Sectors in the Blue Economy Development in Indonesia”

In this hybrid seminar, Dr. Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti shared greater insights on Indonesia’s blue economy programme and discussed policy implementations to facilitate further growth in this new sector.


Friday, 26 April 2024 – ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS) invited Dr. Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti to share more about Indonesia’s blue economy programme and how it is linked to Indonesia’s Golden 2045 vision (to become a high-income economy by 2045). She also elaborated on the challenges in accelerating investments in this new economic sector. Dr Siwage Dharma Negara, Senior Fellow, and Co-Coordinator of the Indonesia Studies Programme at ISEAS, moderated this session.

Dr. Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti shared about the future of the blue economy and how it will become a new economic driver for Indonesia. This session was moderated by Dr Siwage Dharma Negara. (Credit: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

Dr Widyasanti began her presentation by highlighting the need to have new economic drivers to facilitate growth for Indonesia’s economy, given that the country needs to reach a minimal growth target of 6% in order to gain progress in becoming a high-income economy by 2045. The blue economy programme has thus been identified to be one of the potential new drivers for Indonesia’s growth. Dr Widyasanti illustrated the journey taken to change people’s mindset toward the blue economy, including the need to strike a consensus on the blue economy’s definition as well as removing common misconceptions such as overemphasizing the marine industry. Apart from that, maritime contribution to the country’s GDP remains low. There is a general lack of utilization for this industry as they focus primarily on the export and import of marine products from fisheries. Dr Widyasanti, therefore, believed that there is a need to promote the downstream process of this industry and expand the utilization of marine resources to other non-conventional sectors.

Dr Widyasanti proceeded to elaborate on priority sectors which Indonesia planned to focus on for the blue economy programme. Aquaculture and fisheries as well as trade transportation and logistics sectors are some of the current emphases for this new economic sector. She cited seaweed exports as one of the potential industries, stating that Indonesia is the 2nd largest seaweed producer after China. As of now, this industry focuses only on the exports of raw seaweed. The government is therefore looking at ways to increase the value-added creation for this industry and will be collaborating with other countries, such as Australia to build the downstreaming industry.  Apart from that, Indonesia is looking at developing blue economy hubs, focusing on the Riau islands as the hub for Western Indonesia and the Maluku region for Eastern Indonesia.

Dr Widyasanti also elaborated more on the ASEAN blue economy framework, which was endorsed by leaders of ASEAN countries last September. She highlighted the blue economy potential within ASEAN, given that 66% of the total area is covered by water. Moreover, Southeast Asia’s waters contributed at least 15% of the global fisheries. As such, the Global Ocean Economy output for this region is predicted to double by 2030, highlighting the potential of establishing a regional blue economy. Dr Widyasanti illustrated the progress of firming up the ASEAN blue framework, stating that Indonesia had finalized the drafting during her chairmanship in 2023 and had set up initiatives to ensure continual discussion of this sector in subsequent ASEAN meetings. Some of the initiatives include the ASEAN Coordinating Task Force for Blue Economy, which was established in April this year, as well as the 2nd ASEAN Blue Economy forum, to be held in August 2024. Dr Widyasanti also provided an overview of the blue economy framework, listing its guiding principles, blue strategies, and enablers for the programme. She also highlighted some upcoming collaborations with overseas universities and other global experts, emphasizing the need to have consistent collaboration and cooperation with other countries to ensure the success of this programme.

The hybrid seminar drew an online and onsite audience of 47 participants from Singapore and abroad. Some of the topics raised from the Question-and-Answer session included the expansion of blue economy hubs and how it would affect maritime policies, the mobilisation of capital and the importance of private investors for the development of the blue economy. Some other points of discussion were also brought up during the session, such as the challenges in developing and enhancing the inclusiveness of this new sector as well as the impacts of climate change. Dr Widyasanti briefly highlighted strategies to counter such challenges, stating that Indonesia had established measurements/indexes on sustainability and has listed marine conservation as one of its key focuses on its blue economy roadmap. These emphases will ensure that the blue economy programme remains within the middle to long-terms goals for Indonesia, facilitating its continuity in the near future. She therefore concluded the session with hopes that more collaborations can be established with the various stakeholders, allowing Indonesia to be the blue economy hub for Southeast Asia.