JAKARTA – President Joko Widodo called for war against illegal fishing in his speech at the ASEAN United States Summmit meeting in the Laotian capital city of Vientiane on Thursday.
Indonesia’s Antara news agency reports that in the meeting attended by President Barack Obama and ASEAN heads of state and governments Jokowi said illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has caused a loss of at least US$20 billion to Indonesia every year.
IUU fishing is not only a threat to the welfare of low income fishermen and but also to the environment, Jokowi was quoted as saying by a news release issued by the presidential palace here.
Cooperation in eradicating IUU Fishing needs serious addressing mainly with intensive exchange of information, he said.
Under President Jokowi Indonesia has taken a tough measure against illegal fishing.
In a crackdown on illegal fishing, the Indonesian authorities have exploded and sunk around 200 fishing boats for illegal operation in Indonesian waters .
Jokowi attached important on ASEAN-US cooperation to promote small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which has given positive result in the recent Sunnylands meeting in California.
“Indonesia pushed for the plan to form ASEAN-US Connect, to strengthen ASEAN economic integration and boost development of SME’s through the use of information technology,” he said.
Jokowi said he appreciated the ASEAN-US summit meeting in Sunnylands earlier this year and the Pivot to Asia policy reflecting the importance of ASEAN for the United States.
“Indonesia appreciates the Pivot to Asia policy as an effort of President Obama to get closer to Asia resulting in the strategic partnership of ASEAN-US,” he said.
Jokowi said he hopes that the United States would continue to be a big nation and democratic and appreciate pluralism under a new president after the forthcoming general election in that country.
“Indonesia hopes that the United States would continue to an open economy and contribute to creation of peace and improvement of the world welfare,” he said.
He said he wish President Obama well as the present Summit meeting would be the last with ASEAN for the outgoing US president. – BERNAMA