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    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Mare Forum Maritime Indonesia 2008

    Tonight, I got mentally exhausted, yet relieved. I just had my speaking engagement earlier this afternoon. Pfew!

    Okay, about two weeks ago, I got a phone call from the organizer, one Mr. Jannis Kostoulas, the managing director of the Mare Forum. The Mare Forum are organizers of Mare Forum conferences, specializing in conference management, project development and policy marketing. They bring together policy makers and chief executives of an industry to have dialogue and debate so everybody can be on the same page in strategizing business and deciding on policies. Today's Mare Forum conference held in the Four Seasons Jakarta was discussing about the maritime industry, and was titled Maritime Indonesia 2008.

    The conference was attended by some 140 guests (as told by the organizer), mostly from the shipping industry, both Indonesian and foreigners. There were three large groups as I had observed: shipowners, shipbrokers, and financiers. Other small groups were lawyers, analysts, journalists, and none from the government. Quite a dissapointment since a lot of the discussion needed the government's perspective as the policymaker. But their absence is understandable, since the policymakers would almost certainly be put in a hot seat. Nonetheless, the conference moved on ahead with minor delays on the schedule.

    I was scheduled to present my case shortly after lunch. The topic of my presentation was regarding cabotage. Cabotage is a hot topic in the Indonesian shipping industry. It presents an opportunity for tilting the balance of the bargaining power toward the shippers and away from the charterers. I think the future landscape of the domestic maritime trade will be at the favor of the shippers due to implementation of the cabotage law. Of course, holding the premise that it will be implemented, and on time. My presentation have been archived by the Mare Forum here.

    Why did I choose to present a topic on cabotage, much less on maritime trade? Well, I think the organizer felt strongly about the cabotage issue, and I happened to write an article about it on the Jakarta Post. They even admit to have invited me because of that article.

    Overall, it was a good experience for me, a change of pace from my daily work in the cubicle pondering the state of my valuation (sigh). I met a lot of people here, and a fellow Indiana alumn (yeah, a small world after all).

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