Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The Transportation Ministry has stated that it will open cross-border freight transportation services between Kupang in Indonesia and Dili in Timor-Leste, following the recent inauguration of a bus service on the same route.

"The Kupang-Dili cross-border bus service is for moving people, but soon, a cooperation for freight transportation will be opened," the ministry's director general of land transportation, Hendro Sugiatno, stated at the Kupang City Passenger Terminal here on Thursday.

Sugiatno deemed it crucial to open cross-border freight transportation from Kupang City in East Nusa Tenggara to Dili on account of the huge economic potential in the border area.

He explained that the cross-border land transportation service for people and goods established in the border areas to Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam had shown a positive impact in strengthening competitiveness and economic growth there.

Hence, he expected that the Kupang-Dili commercial bus service and the planned freight transportation cooperation can grow the province's economy.

"We must support this together, so that economic growth will occur in the border areas of the two countries," he remarked.

The director general invited related parties to support freight transportation service providers to facilitate them in serving the Kupang-Dili route.

In addition, he emphasized that tourism bus services should be pushed to grow the tourism sector in East Nusa Tenggara.

Timor-Leste's Director General of Transportation and Communications Constantino Ferreira Suarez, Governor of East Nusa Tenggara Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat, and officials of the Regional Leadership Communication Forum (Forkopimda) attended the Kupang-Dili bus route launch event.

President of Timor-Leste José Manuel Ramos-Horta witnessed the event virtually from Dili.

Sugiatno said the Kupang-Dili cross-border bus trip is priced at Rp350 thousand (around US$23) per passenger.

He also expected that the cross-border bus service can improve relations between Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

Related news: Cross-border bus service will advance economy: NTT GovernorRelated news: Indonesian Police strengthens cooperation with Timor-Leste Police

Translator: Aloysius L, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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