PH-Indonesia Ro-Ro ready to sail soon

Subscribe Now April 09, 2013 at 07:58am

A Philippine roll-on roll-off vessel will start sailing to Indonesia, the country’s first Ro-Ro service to ASEAN, middle of this year with the establishment of the Davao-GenSan (Philippines)-Bitung (Indonesia) Ro-Ro route.

This came after leaders of various private sector organizations led by Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Atty. Miguel Varela and ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC)-Philippines member Jay Yuvallos met with Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory Domingo to discuss the launching of the project which will be highlighted with the maiden voyage of the Super Shuttle Ro-Ro from Davao City, Philippines to Bitung, Indonesia.

“The private sector has taken the lead in spearheading the implementation of the project through a bilateral arrangement between the business sector of the Philippines and Indonesia,” PCCI President Varela said, reporting that the Davao-Bitung Ro-Ro project was made possible with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Davao City and Manado Chambers of Commerce and Industry during the Davao Investment Forum in November last year.

He said the initiative is a milestone in improving ASEAN connectivity and in expanding trade, tourism and investments in the BIMP-EAGA area.

Based on a study conducted by Research Education and Institutional Development (REID) Foundation, there is a thriving trade between Mindanao and North Sulawesi that would significantly benefit from the project.

North Sulawesi’s (Indonesia) exports to the Philippines in 2010 were worth $6.8 million . The commodities include crude coconut oil, copra, desiccated coconut, crude palm oil, coconut charcoal and frozen fish. Its top imports from the Philippines in the same year reached $147. 4 million These comprised of capital goods, raw materials and consumption goods.

The study also noted that the transport costs will be reduced by about five to 10 percent compared with shipping the commercial goods through wooden vessels. The transportation time will also be cut from two-three days to at least one and a half day.

For his part, Domingo welcomed the initiative and assured the group of the government’s full support. “Definitely we want to pursue a more strategic economic relationship with Indonesia,” Domingo said, adding that Davao City is a good location for becoming the transshipment hub in Asia.

The group believes that this initiative will be a milestone in the implementation of the ASEAN of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 which President Aquino could report at the ASEAN Leaders Summit in Brunei Darussalam this month.


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