Indonesian president vows to ban state-run firms from buying ships built overseas

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President of Indonesia Joko Widodo is planning on banning local companies from ordering new ships overseas, IHS Maritime reports referencing local media.

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo.

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo.

“Orders abroad will no longer be allowed. Why should we order abroad while we are already able to build them,” Widodo said when visiting Anggrek Hitam shipyard in Batam over the weekend.

Widodo has been promoting the idea of a so-called maritime highway, bolstering shipping infrastructure to better connect the disparate, giant archipelago’s more than 12,000 islands.

“In Batam there are 104 shipbuilding industries. After returning from here I will gather officials from state-owned companies, the ministry of defence, the ministry of transportation, the ministry of fisheries and marine resources, state-owned oil company PT Pertamina, gas company PN Gas and (order them) to no longer order ships from abroad,” he said, according to the national news site, Antara.