Jokowi’s ‘global maritime axis’: smooth sailing or rocky seas ahead?

International relations Defence Marine management Maritime law Indonesia Southeast Asia


In late 2014, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo unveiled his ‘global maritime axis’ concept, designed to reinvigorate the country’s identity as a maritime nation, better defend its seas and boost the maritime sector. His ambitious plan, also known as the ‘Jokowi doctrine’, is to transform Southeast Asia’s largest state located at the nexus of the Indian and Pacific Oceans into a global hub. The extent to which Jokowi can realise his ambitions, given their centrality to his policies, will be an important factor for Indonesia’s identity, economy and defence. The article explores the key components of the ‘global maritime axis’ concept and discusses the challenges facing each component. It highlights the challenges in infrastructure and logistics, naval and coast guard defence, illegal fishing and regional relations, in the context of the Jokowi doctrine. The final section of the article analyses the potential opportunities for Australia- Indonesia relations and the impact the maritime vision has for Australia.

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