AIS Forum promotes sovereign blue bonds


Jakarta, – The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum supports its member countries in issuing sovereign blue bonds, according to the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment.

“We realize that cooperation between stakeholders is of the essence to facilitate the global transition toward a more sustainable maritime economy,” said Jodi Mahardi, the ministry’s deputy for maritime and energy sovereignty coordination, in a statement on Thursday.

He said that the AIS Forum has expressed its commitment to supporting the realization of a blue economy by devising a document called Blue Financing Strategic Framework.

The document will be one of the main topics of discussion on the blue economy during the 1st AIS Forum Summit that will take place in Bali, Indonesia, on October 10-11 this year.

By formulating the document, the AIS Forum seeks to provide a higher level of convenience to all economic actors from every sector to seize opportunities and take a role in the realization of a blue economy by investing in the sustainable and eco-friendly economic sector, Mahardi remarked.

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Basically, the framework document constitutes a tool that can guide business actors to invest in blue economic activities by taking into account the social, economic, and environmental impacts.

The document itself was formulated through collaboration between the Secretariat of AIS Forum, based in Indonesia; Indonesian Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment; and the Innovative Financing Lab of UNDP Indonesia.

Since its issuance last year, the document has been utilized by the AIS Forum to promote investments in a sustainable economy related to maritime activities by targeting participation from governments, financial service actors, philanthropy, and international organizations that have enormous potential to support a blue economy.

Indonesia, as one of the founding members of the AIS Forum, has been referring to the document as a guideline to push for the realization of a blue economy.

In May 2023, the Indonesian Ministry of Finance issued the country’s first sovereign blue bonds in the Japanese debt capital market, with a total value of JP¥20.7 billion (approximately US$139.2 million).

The sovereign blue bonds, offered to the public, serve as evidence of Indonesia’s commitment to utilizing innovative financing sources to promote investment in the blue economy and encourage the use of marine ecosystems in sustainable ways, with the hope of providing people with more benefits.

Furthermore, the Indonesian government has identified blue sectors and projects that meet the sustainable criteria outlined in the framework document.

The government is also carrying out best practices to ensure that the funds obtained from the blue bonds are used to finance initiatives that support the principles of a blue economy.

“Indonesia’s success in issuing sovereign blue bonds can be a blueprint that encourages other countries to optimize the potential of blue economy financing as an instrument for stimulating economic growth, preserving the environment, and realizing sustainable prosperity while protecting their respective ecosystems,” Mahardi stated.

The Secretariat of AIS Forum has expressed belief that Indonesia’s initiative would encourage other archipelagic and island states to issue sovereign blue bonds by referring to the Blue Financing Strategic Framework as a guideline.

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The framework document is expected to assist countries, particularly those relying heavily on maritime resources, in enhancing transparency and ensuring that the investments made are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The AIS Forum will continue to promote and introduce the Blue Strategic Financing Framework to all its member countries, with the aim of encouraging the countries to emulate Indonesia’s initiative in issuing sovereign blue bonds that can finance their maritime agendas.

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