Jakarta, April 30, 2017 (Antara) - A Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) ferry service to be officially launch by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao, the southern Philippines, on April 30, is to improve connectivity between the two neighboring countries.
The Ro-Ro shipping service connecting Davao and General Santos in the Philippines with Bitung in Indonesia's North Sulawesi Province, will provide faster and cheaper transportation services for people and goods.
Better connectivity between Indonesia and the Philippines is part of the development agenda of boosting connectivity in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), that groups Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
Prior to the inauguration of the new shipping service, Indonesia's Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi signed a joint declaration with his Filipino counterpart Arthur P. Tugade on boosting sea connectivity.
The signing of the declaration was witnessed by President Jokowi and President Duterte during the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit in Manila, the Philippines on April 28.
In fact, the route is part of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-EAGA vision for 2025, with the goal to develop the sub-region in seven to 10 years.
Minister Sumadi stated that the implementation of the sea connectivity project is important to Indonesia, as it will help to establish new sea and trade routes.
"The connectivity will offer a huge opportunity for both countries in terms of boosting economy, reducing travel time, as well as offering higher potential to increase trade," Minister Sumadi said.
It will also support the president's national priority program to transform the Bitung Harbor into an international hub, he noted.