Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi is upbeat that the recently inaugurated Makassar New Port would drive economic growth and equality in eastern Indonesia.

"In addition, we hope that Indonesia's maritime connectivity can become more resilient and efficient and have a huge impact on the nation's progress," he noted in a statement from his office on Thursday.

On Thursday, the minister accompanied President Joko Widodo to inaugurate the Makassar New Port in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

According to Sumadi, the Makassar New Port is expected to strengthen Makassar's role as a logistics gateway in the eastern region of Indonesia and support connectivity to international trade routes.

"Makassar New Port is one of the two ports in Indonesia that is quite strong and ready to accommodate large ships from all over the world. Moreover, its current capacity has reached 2.5 million TEUs (twenty foot-equivalent unit) per year," he highlighted.

In addition, the port is a new power for the country as a national and world-class international hub, he remarked.

President Jokowi highlighted that Makassar New Port is a large port in eastern Indonesia that is expected to streamline logistics costs in Indonesia.

"This port will become a large port in eastern Indonesia that will be able to streamline logistics costs in our country," he emphasized.

He pointed out that a decade ago, logistics costs in Indonesia were at 24 percent as compared to other countries, with 9-12 percent, caused by no integration between ports and industrial areas.

"Now, our logistics costs have dropped by approximately 14 percent. They have dropped a lot, but they are still slightly higher than other countries. This is our collective homework," he added.

The head of state then drew attention to the issue of dwelling time, which earlier could reach five to seven days and needed to be improved. However, this matter has been addressed, and currently, the average dwelling time is below three days.

The capacity of Makassar New Port has been increased by 150 percent, from the original one million TEUs to 2.5 million TEUs per year. The time for ships to dock at the port has also increased, namely a maximum of 24 hours, from the previous 48 hours.

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Translator: Benardy Ferdiansyah, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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