The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo opened the peak event of Sail Karimata Strait 2016 on a Datuk Island beach in North Kayong regency, West Kalimantan, on Saturday.
Jokowi also welcomed foreign countries participating in the annual international maritime event.
"This event only ends at the ceremonial level. After it finishes, I don’t want it to be quiet. The event can help preserve our national resources and bring back our maritime culture," he said in his speech as reported by Antara news agency.
In his speech, the president also reminded the audience that Indonesia's area was 71 percent comprised of sea that united all its 17,000 islands into the unitary state of Indonesia. The sea was also one of Indonesia's economic drivers that must be secured, he added.
"We are also pushing for maritime tourism development. We have Bunaken, Tomini Bay, Karimata Strait, Raja Ampat and many other [places of tourism attraction]. We will build the infrastructure and facilities, as well as push promotion so that our beautiful places can be introduced domestically and internationally," Jokowi said before sounding the sirene to mark the official opening of the event.
Meanwhile, Coordinating Martime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said there were eight provinces and 36 foreign participants taking place in Sail Karimata Strait this year.
The event could also boost to development of disadvantaged regions as the government would evaluate the event to turn it into a sustainable program, Luhut added. (rin)
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