Understanding the Blue Economy and Indonesia’s Role in Enhancing It

By: Ridwan J Zachrie, CFO/Senior Advisor of Seven Stones Indonesia

The Blue Economy is an approach to sustainable development that focuses on the use of ocean resources in a way that promotes economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

The term “blue” refers to the vastness of the ocean, which covers more than 70-percent of the earth’s surface and has the potential to generate a wide range of economic and social benefits.

The Blue Economy encompasses a variety of sectors, including fisheries and aquaculture, maritime transport, renewable energy, coastal tourism, and marine biotechnology. It also includes the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, such as fisheries management and the protection of marine biodiversity.

The Blue Economy is gaining increasing attention from policymakers, businesses, and civil society organizations as a way to promote economic development while also protecting the health and productivity of the ocean. Some of the key principles of the Blue Economy include sustainable resource use, ecosystem-based management, and the equitable distribution of benefits.

Proponents of the Blue Economy argue that it can provide a pathway to economic growth and poverty reduction, particularly in developing countries with significant coastal resources. However, it is important to note that the sustainable development of the ocean requires careful planning and management to avoid overexploitation and environmental degradation.

Obstacles in Implementing the Blue Economy

The implementation of a blue economy faces several obstacles that must be addressed to ensure its success. Some of the common obstacles in implementing a blue economy include:

Lack of Awareness and Understanding

A significant obstacle to implementing a blue economy is the lack of awareness and understanding of the concept. Many people, including policymakers, are not familiar with the concept, making it difficult to develop and implement policies that support it. Raising awareness and promoting education and training on blue economy principles is crucial to overcome this obstacle.

Limited Financial Resources

The development of a blue economy requires significant investments in infrastructure, technology, and research and development. Many developing countries, including Indonesia, may lack the financial resources to invest in these areas. Access to financing and investment opportunities, including public-private partnerships, is crucial to overcome this obstacle.

Policy and Regulatory Barriers

The development of a blue economy often requires significant changes in policies and regulations, which can be challenging to implement. For example, promoting sustainable fisheries practices may require changes to existing policies on fishing licenses and quotas. Overcoming policy and regulatory barriers often requires a multi-stakeholder approach that involves the government, private sector, and civil society.

Environmental Challenges

The implementation of a blue economy faces significant environmental challenges, such as overfishing, pollution, and climate change. These challenges require the development of innovative solutions that promote sustainable use and conservation of marine resources. The government and private sector can collaborate to implement sustainable practices that mitigate these challenges.

Limited Institutional Capacity

The successful implementation of a blue economy requires robust institutional capacity and effective governance structures. Many countries, including Indonesia, may lack the necessary institutional capacity to implement a blue economy fully. Building institutional capacity through training and development programs is critical to overcome this obstacle. 

Implementing a blue economy faces several obstacles, including lack of awareness, limited financial resources, policy and regulatory barriers, environmental challenges, and limited institutional capacity.

Overcoming these obstacles requires collaboration and cooperation between the government, private sector, civil society, and other stakeholders.

The Role of Indonesia in Enhancing a Blue Economy

Indonesia, as the largest archipelagic country in the world, has enormous potential for developing a blue economy. A blue economy is an economic model that emphasizes the sustainable use of ocean resources, including fisheries, aquaculture, renewable energy, tourism, and marine biotechnology. The role of Indonesia in enhancing the blue economy can be summarized as follows:

Fisheries and Aquaculture

Indonesia is the second-largest producer of fish in the world, and its fisheries and aquaculture industry provides jobs and income for millions of people. The government has implemented policies to promote sustainable fisheries practices and improve the quality of fishery products. Indonesia can enhance its blue economy by investing in modernizing the fishing industry, increasing the production of high-value species, and improving the efficiency of aquaculture production.

Renewable Energy

Indonesia has abundant renewable energy sources, including tidal, wave, and ocean current energy. The development of these resources can reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and help mitigate climate change. The government has set a target to achieve 23-percent of the country’s energy mix from renewable sources by 2025. The private sector can play a crucial role in developing renewable energy projects in Indonesia.

Marine Tourism

Indonesia has a diverse range of marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, beaches, and islands. Marine tourism can contribute significantly to the country’s economy, but it also presents challenges to the marine environment. The government has implemented policies to promote sustainable marine tourism, such as establishing marine protected areas and regulating tourism activities. Indonesia can enhance its blue economy by developing eco-friendly tourism infrastructure and promoting sustainable tourism practices.

Marine Biotechnology

Indonesia has rich biodiversity, including marine organisms with medicinal and industrial potential. Marine biotechnology can create new economic opportunities, such as developing new drugs and cosmetics, and improving food production. The government has implemented policies to support research and development in marine biotechnology. Indonesia can enhance its blue economy by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in this sector.

In conclusion, Indonesia has great potential to enhance its blue economy, given its abundant marine resources and strategic location. The government can play a crucial role in promoting sustainable development practices, while the private sector can contribute to investment and innovation.

If you’d like more information, or if you’re interested in investing in the blue economy, get in touch with us at

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Andrzej Barski

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Andrzej is Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia. He was born in the UK to Polish parents and has been living in Indonesia for more than 33-years. He is a skilled writer, trainer and marketer with a deep understanding of Indonesia and its many cultures after spending many years travelling across the archipelago from North Sumatra to Irian Jaya.

His experience covers Marketing, Branding, Advertising, Publishing, Real Estate and Training for 5-Star Hotels and Resorts in Bali and Jakarta, which has given him a passion for the customer experience. He’s a published author and a regular contributor to local and regional publications. His interests include conservation, eco-conscious initiatives, spirituality and motorcycles. Andrzej speaks English and Indonesian.

Terje H. Nilsen

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Terje is from Norway and has been living in Indonesia for over 20-years. He first came to Indonesia as a child and after earning his degree in Business Administration from the University of Agder in Norway, he moved to Indonesia in 1993, where he has worked in leading positions in education and the fitness/ wellness industries all over Indonesia including Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Medan and Bali.

He was Co-owner and CEO of the Paradise Property Group for 10-years and led the company to great success. He is now Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia offering market entry services for foreign investors, legal advice, sourcing of investments and in particular real estate investments. He has a soft spot for eco-friendly and socially sustainable projects and investments, while his personal business strengths are in property law, tourism trends, macroeconomics, Indonesian government and regulations. His personal interests are in sport, adventure, history and spiritual experiences.

Terje’s leadership, drive and knowledge are recognised across many industries and his unrivalled network of high level contacts in government and business spans the globe. He believes you do good and do well but always in that order. Terje speaks English, Indonesian and Norwegian.

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Ridwan Jasin Zachrie

CFO of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Ridwan is one of Indonesia’s top executives with a long and illustrious career in the financial world. He holds several professional certifications including being a Certified Business Valuer (CBV) issued by the Australian Academy of Finance and Management; Broker-Dealer Representative (WPPE); and The Directorship Certification for Directors and Commissioners, issued by the Indonesian Institute of Commissioners and Directors.

His experience includes being the Managing Director at one of the top investment banking groups in the region, the Recapital Group, the CFO at State-owned enterprises in fishery industry and the CEO at Tanri Abeng & Son Holding. He’s also been an Independent Commissioner in several Financial Service companies and on the Audit and Risk Committee at Bank BTPN Tbk, Berau Coal Energy Tbk, Aetra Air Jakarta as well as working for Citibank, Bank Mandiri and HSBC. His last position was as CFO at PT Citra Putra Mandiri – OSO Group.

Ridwan has won a number of prestigious awards including the Best CFO Awards 2019 (Institute of Certified Management Accountant Australia-Indonesia); Asia Pacific Young Business Leader awarded by Asia 21 Network New York USA (Tokyo 2008); UK Alumni Business Awards 2008 awarded by the British Council; and The Most Inspiring Human Resources Practitioners’ version of Human Capital Magazine 2010.

He’s a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Law, Trisakti University, Co-Founder of the Paramadina Public Policy Institute and actively writes books, publications and articles in the mass media. He co-authored “Korupsi Mengorupsi Indonesia” in 2009, which helps those with an interest in understanding governance in Indonesia and the critical issue of corruption. Ridwan speaks Indonesian and English.

Per Fredrik Ecker

Managing Director of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Per is the Managing Director of the Seven Stones Indonesia (SSI) Jakarta office and has more than 25-years’ experience in Indonesia, China, and Western Europe. He previously worked in senior management positions with Q-Free ASA, Siemens AG, and other companies in the telecom sector. Over the last six years, he has been the Chairman of the Indonesia-Norway Business Council (INBC) and recently become elected to be on the board of EuroCham Indonesia.

His most recent experience is within Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS), Telecom, and other sectors within the Indonesian market. He is today through his position in SSI and by representing Norway Connect, promoting Nordic and European companies that would like to explore business opportunities in the Indonesian market. He’s also playing an active role to help create the Nordic House concept in Jakarta that will provide an excellent platform for Nordic companies entering Indonesia, where they’ll find a community that can offer support with trusted information and affordable services to enter this market.