Indonesian fishing firm Kanzun denies JV with China Ocean Development

Published on
November 8, 2022
Fishing boats in Indonesia.

Indonesian fishing company Kanzun has denied a claim that it has entered a joint venture with Chinese fishery firm China Ocean Development.

China Ocean Development recently announced in an official statement to investors on Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where it’s listed, it was entering a joint venture with Indonesian firm PT Kanzun Bahriyah Sentosa to fish in Indonesian waters.

China Ocean Development announced it would set up a joint venture with an Indonesian partner through its indirect subsidiary Qisen Fishery. The latter will take an 80 percent stake in the new joint venture which, according to China Ocean, will have a fishing quota from the Indonesian government for 56 fishing vessels in Indonesian waters for 30 years.

Yet a letter sent to SeafoodSource on behalf of the firm from Jakarta-based lawyers Daar Afkar and Co. said China Ocean Development’s claim of a joint venture was false.

“Our client never [made a] joint venture with Ocean company. Our client has an official operating permit from the Indonesian government for the WP 711 Arrest Area, but it turns out that the Chinese government has not yet had a government-to-government cooperation with the Indonesian government,” the letter said. “Kanzun Company is currently trying to procure domestic vessels from Indonesia and cooperate with fishing vessels from other countries outside of China to use the official permit for Fishing Area 711 owned by Kanzun.”

The letter said Kanzun Bahriyah Sentosa has “never met, and [never] cooperated with Ocean Development and never set up a joint venture with Ocean Development.”

“The information in the news that Ocean owns shares through Qishen Fishery of 80 percent shares and about USD 100,000 [EUR 98,000] for management fees is 'completely untrue' as such an arrangement is against Indonesian law,” Kanzun’s letter said. “According to Indonesian law, foreign companies can only own 49 percent of the shares [and] cannot own majority shares.”

PT Kanzun Bahriyah Sentosa is part of the ALC Group, an Indonesian conglomerate. SeafoodSource has not received a response to a request for comment made to China Ocean Development.

This is not the first time a supposed partnership between China Ocean Development and its alleged joint venture partner has come into dispute. In December 2020, the company announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Mercado Común Del Sur (MERCOSUR) to build a pelagic fishery base in Ecuador. But a statement issued by MERCOSUR’s press office and sent to SeafoodSource in January 2021 said no agreement existed.

Photo courtesy of Ika Hilal/Shutterstock

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