Ride the Next Big Waves in Maluku


The development plan in Maluku intends to optimize its fisheries potential which are capture fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, tourism, and mining. With a third of Indonesia’s major fishing areas in the region, the government also plans to develop Maluku as the national fish barn (Lumbung Ikan National/LIN) that will expand the country’s fishery export and improve the region’s economy.

Maluku One-Stop Integrated Services Office (Dinas Penanaman Modal dan Perizinan Terpadu Satu Pintu/ DPMPTSP) estimated an annual fisheries potential of 1.62 million tons. In 2021, the Indonesia Fishing Port Information Center of the Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries recorded Maluku’s fish production at 543,361 tons, while the Indonesia Statistics Agency (2021) documented that in 2019, Maluku produced more than 620 thousand tons from the aquacultures, of which marine aquaculture was the largest contributor.

“We will develop crab, grouper, seaweed, and lobster aquamarines, to ensure marine sustainability in the area,” shared Minister for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono in Ambon last October. The Ministry will also enforce fishing quota and establish separate areas for industrial fishing, local fishing, and spawning and nursery ground. To achieve the goal for LIN, the government is building an IDR5 trillion (USD350 million) new integrated fishing port in Ambon, which will begin construction around December 2021 and January 2022. The integrated Ambon New Port will consist of domestic and international container terminals, fishing ports, roll-on-roll-off terminal, logistic center, ship repairment area, LNG terminal, sea product processing, and fish auction venue.

“We will focus on formulating a policy for investment incentive,” said Maluku Head of Investment Office and One-Stop Integrated Service Syuryadin Sabirin to Siwalimanews. He mentioned easy permit, cheap labor, and limited rental fee waives, which are available for investors interested in the fish processing industry at the new port area on top of the other general incentives.

Other Potential Sectors
Besides fisheries, Maluku has various other sectors waiting to be cultivated. Maluku’s nickel reserve will place Indonesia as the world’s center for electric car production as 80% part of the electric car’s battery is made of nickel. Based on DPMPTSP Maluku’s data Maluku’s, 14 sea basins have also been identified as potential sites for oil and gas extraction. Along with the untapped potential of 738 gigawatts of green energy in Maluku islands identified by the Institute for Essential Services Reform, Maluku is resource-wise ready to achieve the target for using 30% renewable energy by 2030 and 50% by 2050.

In terms of plantations, Maluku’s coconut, cloves, and nutmeg are lucrative produces with long export history dated back to the ninth century. Annually, the province produces around five thousand tons of nutmegs, 21 thousand tons of cloves, and 97 thousand tons of coconuts. Investment is warmly welcomed for cooperation in nutmeg trade and export, down-streaming of plantation products, and medium-scale processing for derivative products.

Maluku’s ecotourism is also high potential yet underdeveloped. The newly established Maluku Regional Tourism Promotion Agency (Badan Promosi Pariwisata Daerah/ BPPD) is expected to introduce Maluku to the domestic and international tourist markets effectively. Maluku is packed with national parks, thousands of kilometers of beautiful shorelines, 14 marine parks for snorkeling and diving, and other natural sites such as caves, waterfalls, lakes, and mountains.