Jokowi Seeks Ban on Buying of Foreign Ships

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A site visit to Batam over the weekend, President Joko Widodo called for a ban on the import of ships after discovering that the island hosts most of the shipyards in the country, and learning about Indonesia’s shipbuilding capability.

The move is certain to raise concerns over the country’s nationalistic tendencies.

“I am surprised that Indonesia has 250 shipyards, of which 105 of them are in Batam – this is a big industry,” he told reporters during the visit, flanked by an entourage of ministers including Coordinating Economics Minister Sofyan Djalil, Defence Minister Ryamizard Riyacudu and Industry Minister Saleh Husin.

All state-owned firms, government agencies and ministries will be urged to refrain from purchasing cargo ships from overseas. Mr Joko also ordered a stock-take of the country’s supply.

“I say this again, no more buying from overseas. Why do we need to do so if we can make it ourselves? Our trade balance can (become too big) if the current practice continues,” he said, to applause from staff of shipbuilding companies.


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