US and Indonesia Sign MOU on Maritime Cooperation

The United States and Indonesia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Maritime Cooperation to further improve current collaboration in the areas of maritime security, maritime economy, marine resources and fisheries conservation and management, maritime safety and navigation, marine science and technology and other areas of cooperation identified by both countries.

The MOU was signed on October 24 as part of the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership.

Both countries underlined the importance of improving maritime infrastructure to enhance connectivity and enable freer flow of commerce in the ASEAN region and between the two countries.

Through the MOU, the two countries will explore the creation of public-private partnerships, organization of business roundtables, and promotion of trade shows to support the sustainable development of Indonesia’s fisheries and ports.

U.S. also pledged to provide assistance to support conservation of marine biodiversity, sustainable fisheries management, and improved governance of marine resources at local, district, provincial, and national levels in Indonesia. Efforts will focus on the three provinces in eastern Indonesia with the highest marine biodiversity.

U.S. and Indonesia already jointly tackle and deter illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing both in Indonesian and in the broader ASEAN region. U.S. agencies assist Indonesia in battling IUU through procurement of technologies, systems integration, and capacity building.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security Program have been involved in conducting boarding officer training courses in Indonesia. The U.S. Coast Guard’s International Port Security Program also conducts capacity building for compliance with International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) standards. These efforts aim to detect and deter security threats in the maritime transport sector, especially for goods shipped between the United States and Indonesia.

In response to the May-June 2015 maritime migrant crisis in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, the United States contributed emergency funds to IOM and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to meet the needs of migrants in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, and Bangladesh by providing temporary shelter and non-food items, health and nutrition support, voluntary assisted returns, international protection, information sharing, and addressing root causes.

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