A total of 13 overseas companies from China, Thailand and Australia are to invest a total of $120.5 million in fishing and fish processing ventures around the country, an official from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry says, The Jakarta Post reported.
"The planned investments comprise fishing operations and the building of fish processing plants in Indonesia as under our current regulations, if they want to fish in our waters, they have to process the fish here," ministry spokesman Saut P. Hutagalung told reporters Friday (16/3/07).
Four of the 30 companies had already obtained permits and commenced fishing, with their catches being processed in collaboration with domestic processing firms.
Saud said the companies would be permitted to use existing processing facilities prior to the construction of their own plants.
The companies have selected Jambi, East Java, Jakarta, Merauke in Papua, and Ambon in Maluku as their processing bases.
The government issued a decree last year requiring foreign fishing firms to establish fish processing plants if they wanted to fish in Indonesian waters.
Besides the overseas investors, 15 local firms had committed to investing around Rp1.4 billion, with most of them still waiting for the necessary permits, Hutagalung said. The combined investments would create 23,000 jobs.