Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called on city leaders to brand their cities, to differentiate one city’s potential from another.

A city that uses its resources and carves a niche will be more competitive, Widodo said.

Citing several examples, the President suggested that Ambon – a seaport city in Maluku province – could focus on fishery. It could build storage warehouses and shipping docks to support this vision, he added.

Central Tapanuli, a regency in North Sumatra, plans to develop its tourism industry. The regency is already known among tourists for Lake Toba, a volcanic lake.

“We are pushing efforts to expand Sibolga port from 35 meters to 70 meters so that foreign cruise ships can dock and visit Central Tapanuli,” said Syukron Jamilan Tanjung, Central Tapanuli’s regent.

Pekalongan calls itself the “World’s Batik City”; Surakarta too, wants to brand itself as a ‘batik city’. “The branding empowers our local society, especially small and medium enterprises,” said Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo.

The President was optimistic that this could be achieved within five to 10 years, the Jakarta Post reports. The government has reportedly increased budget allocations for states by 12 percent, from $48 billion last year to $54 billion.

Image by NHD-INFO, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0