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Indonesian waters call Vietnamese fishermen   2009-08-02 - TN

Vietnamese fishing vessels head to sea from Song Dong Estuary in Ca Mau Province’s Tran Van Thoi District  
Vietnam could stave off a seafood shortage by helping Indonesia exploit its vast wealth of fisheries resources, representatives from both sides have argued.


Indonesia’s Fisheries Industries Development Director at the Ministry of Marine Affaires and Fisheries Anang Noegroho said his country could learn a lot from Vietnam, one of the world’s largest seafood exporters.

Noergroho told Thanh Nien Daily that cooperation could benefit both countries as Indonesia had many varieties of fish species unavailable in Vietnam.

He said the Indonesian government encouraged foreign investors to join local fish ventures to catch and process fish from Indonesian waters as it aims to increase the country’s seafood exports.

The county exported some US$2.5 billion in fish last year compared to $4.6 billion in seafood export value from Vietnam.

Indonesia has exported fish mainly through partnerships with foreign investors, mostly from the Southeast Asian region, said Noegroho, adding that China, Thailand and the Philippines were major investors in Indonesian fisheries.

A representative from the Investment Coordination Organization at Indonesia’s Ministry of Settlements and Regional Infrastructure said the government offered tax exemption and deduction incentives for fisheries ventures.

Speaking at a meeting held by Indonesian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday, Chu Tien Vinh, director general of the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Bureau of Aquatic Resources Exploitation and Protection, said cooperation in fisheries had potential for Vietnam and Indonesia as it would help businesses in both countries exploit their strengths and improve on their weaknesses.

Vinh said Indonesian waters could be an abundant source for Vietnamese processors that may face a shortage of materials.

Local processors have complained that Vietnam’s seafood resources were being exhausted due to lax regulations. They have in turn asked the government for licenses to import raw materials.

A cooperation agreement between the two countries could also help settle illegal fishing disputes in which fishermen have been accused of fishing in neighboring countries’ waters, said Vinh.

But one problem was that Vietnamese businesses would have to buy bigger ships as the Indonesian government only allows fishing ships of 100-600, while most vessels in Vietnamese waters weigh 100 tons or less, he said.

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