Danish state visit underscores stronger ties with Indonesia

At an inaugural state visit to Indonesia by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, a Letter of Intent was also signed between Maersk and Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs.

Danish Queen
Her Majesty The Queen with HRH The Prince Consort, accompanied by Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Dr Rizal Ramli. The state visit was marked by the signing of a Letter of Intent, signaling Indonesia and Maersk’s cooperation in developing trade in Bitung.

Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo yesterday received Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, on a first ever state visit between the two maritime nations. The visit takes place almost a century after the first regular Danish shipping route to Indonesia was established.

The event highlights Indonesia’s ambition in transforming itself into a maritime fulcrum for economic growth and development, and facilitates the exchange of ideas, opportunities and networking between maritime stakeholders of both countries.

Denmark as a partner for Indonesia’s maritime vision
Indonesia is a vast island nation spanning 5,500 kilometres across, from Aceh in the west to Papua in the east. The potential is for Denmark to become a key partner for Indonesia in realising its maritime vision.

Jakob Friis Sorensen, President Director of Maersk Line Indonesia, says: “Indonesia’s vision requires significant expansion of its ports, investments in infrastructure and additional shipping capacity in order to increase connectivity between the country’s many islands and regions.”

Bitung identified as development zone in LOI
A Letter of Intent was also signed between Maersk and Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs during a maritime seminar, which will pave the way for stronger and concrete collaboration both between the public and private sector in the maritime industry of both countries.

The signing was held in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Consort Henrik of Denmark. Jakob Friis Sorensen and Rene Piil Pedersen, Maersk Group Representative for Asia-Pacific, signed the LOI jointly with Dr Ridwan Djamaluddin, Indonesia’s Deputy Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs for Infrastructure, and Dr Edy Putra Irawady, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry from the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs.

Danish Queen Signing
Jakob Friis Sorensen, President Director of Maersk Line Indonesia with the signed Letter of Intent and Deputy Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Dr Ridwan Djamaluddin.

In the agreement, Bitung in East Indonesia has been identified as a special economic development zone and a strategic hub for shipping.

Partners in the agreement are expected to work together in understanding the challenges and opportunities for the supply chains of tuna, coconut and other downstream products, which are key commodities in the region, as well as the potential for aquaculture development.

Included in the scope of the agreement are addressing key industry issues such as the processes around customs clearance, cargo release and border procedures, as well as the regulatory environment and shipping liner connectivity from a regional and international perspective.

Jens Munch Lund-Nielsen, Lead Advisor for Group Sustainability on the Bitung project, says: “There is a huge potential for Maersk and the Indonesian authorities to cooperate in this area, for enabling trade and developing for example, the fishing industry, which will bring jobs and economic development to the local communities.”

He continues: “It is still early days, and we have a long road ahead, but if successful, Bitung will be a model for replicating good practice in other parts of Indonesia.

Danish Queen Indoneisa
18 Maersk containers were also present as a backdrop to the event, with a customised unit as a mobile exhibition piece. Titled ‘Moving Global Trade’ special container boasts an interior furnished with interactive displays showing the Maersk group history timeline, fun facts and Triple-E trivia.