Maritime Boundaries and International Business

When I stared learning about maritime boundary issues, back in 2004, I did not quite expect that the expertise will bring em to meet a lot of people from different disciplines. While interacting with people from legal, social and political backgrounds has now become a regular thing, to be invited in a forum of international business is a certainly quite unexpected.

For the first time I was invited to talk about the relationship between maritime boundary issues and international business by the State Polytechnic of Bali (PNB). In the seminar I spoke with two other speakers and specifically discuss the impact of pending maritime boundaries to international business. Maritime security and regional safety were among other things that I discussed with audiences from different background.  I has always been fun to discuss with people with educational background that is completely different from mine. To me, the discussion was a perspective-enriching. Here is a video taken by Bali TV and was aired the night after the seminar. Enjoy!

Moderating a Session on Maritime Security in Bangkok

Opportunities often come in a very short notice. This includes an opportunity to moderate a session on maritime security in Bangkok, organised by ReCAAP, a regional organisation based in Singapore. A good friend from Singapore once called me and asked whether or not I could be a moderator in Bangkok.  It took me a while before saying yes, even though it meant that I would need to adjust my own schedule.

On 14 July 2016, I took a role as a moderator presenting six speakers from different countries in ASEAN. The topic was “Piracy and Sea Armed Robbery”, something that does not precisely fall into my expertise. However, I needed to say yes for it was a replacement to my colleague who was ill. She was scheduled to moderate the session but could not do that for health concerns. I am grateful for the opportunity for it forced be to learn. I enjoyed the session very much.


Talking South China Sea in China

It was a great honour to be invited by the China-ASEAN Research Institute of Guangxi University, Nanning, China on 18-19 June 2016. On the occasion, I presented a paper on the “Quantification of Potential Maritime Dispute in the South China Sea: A Geospatial and Legal Perspective”


Meeting the Leaders of Timor Leste

It was a historical visit to Dili on 19 May 2016. Historical because it was the first one for me and also because it was a meeting with Ramos Horta, Mari Alkatiri and the current Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Dr. Rui Maria de Araujo. There are not many bigger things than presenting your ideas in front of former president, former prime minister and a current minister of a country. It was a rewarding experience.

I was invited by President Xanana Gusmao (yes, you are right, Xanana) to deliver a presentation on Indonesia’s perspective on maritime boundary delimitation and the law of the sea. It was a quite big conference attended by 500 plus participants and a number of prominent figures were there. A number of ministers were present and I had a good opportunity to network. It was certainly a great and invaluable experience to have.

DiliMBO (1)
With all speakers

Also present in the conference was the President of ITLOS, Judge Vladimir Vladimirovich Golitsyn, the Indonesian President’s Special Envoy for maritime boundary delimitation between Indonesia and Malaysia, Dr Edy Pratomo, and Prof. V. Love, a prominent international lawyer from the UK. Academically, it was certainly a high profile conference and I undoubtedly learned a lot from this immortals.

With Mari Alkatiri
With Mari Alkatiri

Catatan lebih lengkap dalam Bahasa Indonesia ada di sini.

To Get Indonesia and India Closer

Indonesia and India are two big countries with a lot similarities. Both are democracies with big number of population. India is the largest democracy in the world and Indonesia comes third after the United States of America. While Indonesia is an archipelagic State and India is a continental State, both are developing rapidly economically. Culturally, both countries are also very similar. Values and culture of Hindu, which characterise India in general, can easily seen in the life of people in Indonesia, even though Islam is the religion of the majority of the people.

With the aforementioned similarities, it is surprising to observe that the relationship between India and Indonesia is not yet as strong as it should be. Trading value between Indonesia and India is in fact lower that that between Indonesia and Iran, for example. Collaboration between institutions in Indonesia and India needs to be improved. For these reasons, top leaders in both countries view that the relationship between India and Indonesia needs to be strengthen through the establishment of Eminent Persons Group  (EPG) in both Side.

Indonesia-India Eminent People Groups
Indonesia-India Eminent People Groups

In 2015, both Indonesia and India finalised a group in each side, consisting of five persons. I am honoured to be asked by the Government of Indonesia to be a member of the Indonesia-India EPG serving at the Indonesian side. I have all the honour to serve with Dr. Dino P. Djalal (Former Ambassador of indonesia to the US), Medyatama Suryodiningrat (Director of Antara), Prof. Wiendu Nuryanti (Former Vice Minister of National Education), and Shinta Kamdani (Indonesian Chamber of Commerce). Maritime issue between the two countries is, in particular, the part of my roles in the team.

The first meeting of Indonesia-India EPG took place in Jakarta on 4-5 April 2016 where for the first time the two teams from both countries get to know each other and started conversation. The meeting went well and both parties were frank enough to talk about the reality in both sides. After the meeting, the delegation met the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Retno L.P. Marsudi. The minister delivered important message that the EPG need to hold as guidance in delivering their tasks.

Meeting Minister Retno LP Marsudi
Meeting Minister Retno LP Marsudi

For me personally, this is an opportunity to learn a lot of issues with regards to Indonesia-India relationship. Intensive and extensive trans-disciplinary interaction did enrich me without doubt.