Indonesia seeks maritime merit of ‘Vikings’

Indonesia seeks maritime merit of ‘Vikings’

The government has invited 33 companies from Norway and Denmark to explore business opportunities in the country’s maritime sector, including in port management and security, to help meet its vision of becoming one of the world’s top maritime powers.

To meet such an ambitious goal, the government has planned to enhance inter-island connectivity by building 24 seaports and deep sea ports as well as upgrading port infrastructure.

Denmark and Norway, according to the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, are ideal partners as they both have maintained strong maritime traditions and histories, in terms of fisheries, shipping, offshore energy and maritime equipment and services.

“You are the Vikings. So, please show us the greatness of the Vikings. [Tell us how to build] an integrated port for cargo and fisheries and all integrated transportations, including ports and airports.” Susi said in front of representatives of the 33 companies on Monday.

She explained that different ministries in the country had built each of their own ports, including some under her ministry and others under the Transportation Ministry. As those ports were located separately, hundreds of kilometers apart, the government had suffered from high operational costs.

Therefore, she continued, 33 companies from Denmark and Norway were invited to talk with the government and companies in Jakarta about possible investment opportunities, whether under business-to-business or business-to-government schemes.

Among those companies were Danish energy firm Danfoss A/S, ship maker Odense Maritime Technology, Norwegian shipping company WilhWilhelmsen ASA and technology systems and solutions enterprise Kongsberg Digital.

Denmark and Norway are currently among the top 10 global ship-owning nations and both countries are eager to invest in Indonesia and to transfer their expertise and knowledge.

“Denmark is a very small country, but in the maritime area, Denmark and Norway are global superpowers. Every 15 minutes, somewhere around the world, a Danish operated ship leaves a port,” Danish Ambassador to Indonesia Casper Klynge said.

Although Denmark only accounts for 0.1 percent of the global population, he explained, Danish people have managed to create a large number of ships that are currently transporting 10 percent of the world’s goods.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia StigTraavik said that both of the Nordic countries could offer technological advice through their state of the art ships that employ more efficient uses of energy.

“We have produced ships, which run with natural gas instead of diesel. Basically, it’s like a mini power plant in the ship, and the computer system is running the engine. So, it can reduce the consumption of gas by 20 percent compared to modern ships that use diesel fuel,” he said.

On the other hand, Odense Maritime Technology’s president director for Southeast Asia Erik Hansen said Indonesia was a promising country because of its rapidly growing market. The company — which designs commercial ships for offshore industry, fishery inspection and patrol ships — is confident that Indonesia can benefit from its technology.

“Odense Maritime Technology is committed to sharing knowledge with Indonesian ship operators, ship yards and ship design centers,” he said.

Previously, State-Owned Enterprises Minister RiniSoemarno visited four Nordic countries, namely Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, in September, to approach them to form partnerships, particularly in energy and fishery sectors.

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