Wednesday, August 17

M’sia, Indonesia to expand cooperation in fisheries industries

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JAKARTA: Malaysia and Indonesia are to widen cooperation in the marine and fisheries industries, particularly in the high-impact seaweed production and ornamental fish sectors, Malaysian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said here yesterday.“We see great potential for cooperation in research and processing in these two sectors,” he said.

Both countries would also cooperate in the field of bio-security to ensure that the fish landed could be exported to and accepted in the European markets, he told reporters after discussions with Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad.

Noh said both countries also agreed to ensure the welfare of their fishermen caught for poaching in each other’s territorial waters.

Meanwhile, Fadel said it was strategic for Malaysia and Indonesia to step up cooperation in fisheries because both countries, as members of the D-8 group of Islamic developing countries, had agreed on marine and fisheries industries as the basis for enhancing food security.

“Stepped up cooperation in fisheries is also in line with the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Asean-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Agreement,” he said.

He said the volume of Indonesian exports to Malaysia in the fisheries sector in 2008 was 57,159 tonnes valued at US$62.7 million (RM209.7 million).

Noh is leading a delegation of senior government officers and heads of government-linked companies (GLCs) on a week-long visit to Indonesia as a follow-up to the visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to Sulawesi at the end of last year to discuss potential cooperation and investment in agriculture. — Bernama