Indonesia as a maritime nation #sesparlu

In 2014 presidential campaign, Joko Widodo as a candidate proposed “Poros Maritim Dunia” (PMD) as tagline of his vision to be a President. Soon after his succeed and inauguration in October 2014, President Joko Widodo made public remarks to a range of audiences, both domestic and international, have made reference to his vision for Indonesia as a “Global Maritime Fulcrum” (GMF). He mentioned the five underlying pillars of the policy, namely maritime culture, maritime “food sovereignty” and security, maritime economy, maritime diplomacy, and maritime sovereignty. President Joko Widodo strongly believes the future of Indonesian prosperity rests on the revival of its maritime culture, and Indonesia’s ability to manage challenges and seize opportunities presented by its unique geography.

There is a question regarding how Indonesia implements the “Global Maritime Fulcrum – GMF” (Poros Maritim Dunia, PMD) concept, how does Indonesia develop its maritime strategy to achieve the concept’s policy goals?

The need to develop a maritime strategy stems from the fact that although the archipelago’s seas can serve as a medium of interaction among islanders, they can also be a source of division as they separate “islands from each other politically, economically, socially, and culturally.” For Indonesia, the sea has become a natural medium to promote national unity through socio-cultural interactions and political control, respectively the “soft” and “hard” ways of achieving national unity.

The maritime domain plays a large part in Indonesia’s history. In 1957, the Djuanda Declaration formalised the importance of the maritime domain for Indonesia, enshrining the idea that the seas formed part of Indonesian territory, echoed by the Indonesian word for ‘homeland’, tanah air, literally meaning ‘land and water’.

Policy Principles

PMD is a concept of Economic Security for Indonesia and can be defined as a dynamic state of the economic life of the nation which contains tenacity and toughness national strength in the face and overcome all challenges, threats, obstacles and distractions that come from the outside and from the inside, directly or indirectly, to ensure the economic survival of the nation and the State.

By having strategic geographical position and island flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, it makes Indonesia ranks second after Canada as a country that has the longest coastline in the world. Strength is what great potential to improve the economy of Indonesia is. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2012, Indonesia currently ranks third in the world’s largest fisheries production under China and India. In addition, the Indonesian waters to save 70 percent of the oil potential because there are approximately 40 oil basins that are in the waters of Indonesia. Of this number only about 10 percent of which has been explored and exploited.

The territorial waters of Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke can be used as a high bargaining economic power to rich countries and developed such as the US, China, and Japan. These countries are certainly very interested by the waters and sea Indonesia as a pivot maritime world as a very strategic from the economic, political and military. The increasingly protracted dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea indirectly, made the position of Indonesia grew to be very strategic.

From security dimension perspective, Indonesia will not only act as the center of maritime dynamics and economic activity between two continents and two oceans but will also take great responsibility. As a center of maritime activity in the region, then Indonesia has an interest to guarantee that territorial and adjacent waters are safe.

Therefore, to make Indonesia as the GMF must be supported by strong naval and air superiority, not just the land. Global Fire Power Sites (GFP) has recently issued a release that Indonesia is a country with a military force to the 12th largest in the world. There is hope and pride to see that an international website GFP, which often become a scientific reference of the experts of the military and defense worldwide, putting Indonesia in the respectable position.

With the increasing power of naval and military air make Indonesia more respected in the eyes of the world. This commitment has been mentioned by President Jokowi who want to making Indonesia as GMF and returning to the identity of the country as a maritime nation. To achieve these goals, Government will build maritime infrastructures, protect maritime resources against illegal and destructive exploitation, make the most of marine wealth for peoples, maintain security and safety of the seas as the veins of the global trade and preserve the seas for our grandchildren and for the world.


As a maritime country, Indonesia should assert itself as the GMF. This position opens opportunities for Indonesia to develop regional and international cooperation for the prosperity of the people, and to participate in determining the future of the Indian and Pacific Ocean region. These ocean regions should remain peaceful and safe for world trade instead of being a battlefield for natural resources, territorial conflicts and maritime supremacy.

For that reasons, security is a very important thing for a country. Countries striving to improve the strength (power) to create security to cope with any threat. The maritime position of Indonesia has a very important role in the region. Therefore, Indonesia should orchestrate a multifaceted approach to engage Indonesia in politic, economy, and defense with other maritime countries. Indonesia is obligated to build its maritime defense power not only to secure its maritime wealth and sovereignty but also to take responsibility for safeguarding navigation safety and maritime security.

To get support from other countries, Indonesia should promulgate maritime issues, particularly the maritime fulcrum, in international and regional organizations. This can be done through mainstreaming the maritime issue in international deliberation, such as maritime connectivity. Regional maritime connectivity can be improved by promoting the growth of transport links along economic corridors—especially maritime economic corridors.




Robert Cribb and Michele Ford, “Indonesia as an Archipelago: Managing Islands, Managing the Seas,” in Indonesia beyond the Water’s Edge, eds. Robert Cribb and Michele Ford (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2009)

Dewi Fortuna Anwar, “Indonesia’s Strategic Culture: Ketahanan Nasional, Wawasan Nusantara, and Hankamrata,” Australia-Asia Papers, no. 75 (Queensland: Griffith University, Centre for Study of Australia-Asia Relations, May 1996)

Leonard C. Sebastian, Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto, and I Made Andi Arsana, “Indonesia and the Law of the Sea: Beyond the Archipelagic Outlook,” National Security College Brief,no. 9 (May 2014): 69-70,

Kresno Buntoro, Alur Laut Kepulauan Indonesia (ALKI): Prospek Dan Kendala (Jakarta: SESKOAL, 2012), 176-181.

Sekretariat Kabinet Republik Indonesia, “Pidato Presiden RI Joko Widodo Pada KTT-9 Asia Timur, Di Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar,” November 14, 2014,

Rendi A. Witular, “Jokowi Launches Maritime Doctrine to the World,” The Jakarta Post, November 13, 2014,

“Infrastructure in Indonesia,” Indonesia-Investments,

Aaron Connelly, Indonesian Foreign Policy under President Jokowi (Sydney: Lowy Institute for International Policy, October 2014), 13,

“Full Speech: Jokowi at APEC CEO Summit 2014,” Rappler, November 10, 2014,

Geoffrey Till, “Indonesia as a Growing Maritime Power: Possible Implications for Australia,” Soundings (May 2015): 4,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s