Indonesia has committed to revitalising its ship building industry, boosting production and reflecting its status as the world’s largest archipelagic nation.

The country’s director general for high-technology industries, Budi Darmadi, said that the government is to stimulate the market. The Industry Ministry is to offer encouragement for producers to build ships with a dead weight tonnage (DWT) of 70,000, which can carry greater loads.

Presently, local shipbuilders have the capacity to produce ships of up to 50,000 DWT and to repair ships of up to 150,000 DWT.

The Chairwoman of the Indonesian Ship Owners Association (INSA), Carmelita Hartoto, proposed an interest rate reduction for loans taken out by local ship builders as well as the elimination of a 10 percent value-added tax.

She cited high tariffs for component imports as a major reason for ship production costing more in Indonesia than in other Asian countries such as Vietnam and China.

Indonesia is home to around 200 shipbuilders, mostly centred in Batam, the Riau Islands, Tanggamus, Lampung, Lamongan and East Java.-VNA