According to the press statement, released by the Transportation Ministry, received here, Friday, both Indonesias President Joko Widodo and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the signing of the declaration that took place during the Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit in Manila, the Philippines, on Friday.
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.
It will also support the presidents national priority program to transform the Bitung Harbor into an international hub, he noted.
"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," he remarked as quoted in the release.
The establishment of the new RoRo shipping route also has the potential to boost the local economy and increase tourism and investment in the area, he pointed out.
It is also forecast that the route will be competitive, as it will lead to a shorter travel time due to its close geographical proximity, thereby helping to lower the logistics and transportation costs.
"It only takes one to two days to travel on the Bitung-Davao route, which is significantly shorter as compared to the Bitung-Surabaya/Jakarta-Manila-Davao route that takes at least one to two weeks. Surely, the costs of transportation and logistics will go down as well," he remarked.
The signing of the declaration is an agreement that is a follow-up to the BIMP-EAGA Sea Linkages Working Group meeting in Manado, North Sulawesi, held earlier this month.(*)