New shipping route to boost PH-Indonesia trade
Trade of goods between the Philippines and Indonesia is expected to pick up with the opening of a new shipping route through the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area.
BIMP-Eaga is one of the sub-regional efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry, a roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ferry service will begin plying the route connecting Davao City to General Santos City in Mindanao to Bitung in Indonesia starting April 28.
The DTI said the new route will provide a faster and cheaper channel of trading goods among Eaga’s key cities.
Scheduled to make a maiden voyage using the new route is M/V Super Shuttle RoRo 14, operated by the Asian Marine Transport Corp.
The vessel will provide a weekly shipping service to the route with a vessel capacity of carrying containers of 100 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) each.
“These developments in the sub-region complement the ongoing regional efforts toward realizing the Asean Economic Community 2025,” Trade Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado said in a statement.
“It will help increase economic cooperation and will pave way for the promotion of Philippine products especially those coming from the Mindanao region,” Terrado said.
According to the DTI’s Trade and Investment Center in Jakarta, the opening of the route is a more cost and time-efficient alternative to the usual Manila-Jakarta-Bitung route, which would take about three to five weeks of shipping time.
Direct shipping through the Davao-GenSan-Bitung route will take only one day and a half of sailing, not including time at port. The DTI said a savings of up to $1,500 (P74,000) per TEU is estimated in using the new route.
The DTI also said private businesses in Mindanao had identified for shipment to Indonesia goods such as animal feeds, fertilizer, construction materials, ice cream products, poultry (halal), fresh fruits, and synthetics.
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