The global economy is still hit by slump. Big economies are still struggling to lift themselves from the protracted crisis, which began in the United States and Europe.

The World Bank Bank has predicted a moderate growth of only 2.7 percent for the global economy in 2017 despite expected fiscal stimulus by the United States.

Developing economies are predicted to grow 4.2 percent on the average , up from a growth rate of 3.4 percent in the previous year.

The World Bank also expressed fears that investment growth in developing countries would shrink from 10 percent in 2010. In 2015, the investment growth was estimated at only 3.4 percent.

Amid uncertainties in the global economy, the countrys exports of fishery products have continued to increase, Marine and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said.

"Global economy is hit by slump and exports and imports are declining but the countrys exports of fisheries have continued to rise," Susi has said.

She said the increase in exports indicated that development of the fishery sector was "on the right track".

If the weather is favorable , the countrys fishery production would rise further in 2017, she said.

The minister said a number of development programs in 2017 are aimed at eliminating poverty among the communities of fishermen and to raise the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in the fishery sector to 9 percent.

Meanwhile, Director General for Strengthening Competitiveness Nilanto Perbowo said the countrys fisheries exports rose 4.96 percent in 2016.

"Currently our export market is good in the United States and Japan ," Nilanto said, adding demand for squid and shrimp is strong in international market.

He said the countrys exports of squid, and cuttlefish rose 61.64 percent and exports of shrimp increased 5.68 percent in 2016

Director General of Cultivation Fishes Slamet Soebjakto said regulation issued by the ministry in transport ships is to boost fisheries exports.

Slamet said the ministry has also been effective in controlling food quality and security citing that monitoring of residue found that 99.89 percent of 4,192 samples are free from residue

Market expansion

The government is expected to to be able to expand export market for the countrys fisheries products to improve the countrys trade balance, a law maker said.

Deputy chairman of the PKS faction at the House of Representatives (DPR) Ecky Awal Mucharam said the government should be satisfied with doing business with main trading partners .

Market intelligence should be developed to make a list of goods needed by each country in the world, Ecky said .

"Cooperation between ambassadors, the Investment agency (BKPM) and Indonesians overseas should be created and developed," he said. .

He hoped that the countrys trade balance could be improved . In 2016 , the country recorded a surplus of US$8.72 billion on a surge in the exports of non-oil/gas commodities .

"Despite the surplus the countrys trade balance had not shown fundamental improvement both in exports and imports as contractions still was recorded in both exports and imports," he said.

However, a surplus is a good news amid global economic slowdown and uncertainties, he added.(*)