"Teluk Bayur port is strategically located in Indonesia, as far as international trade is concerned," said Lasro Simbolon, the Foreign Affairs Ministry`s director for Africa, here on Thursday.
"Therefore, the port management company, PT Pelindo, should speed up the development and renovation of Teluk Bayur port," he explained.
Lasro noted that Teluk Bayur port was the only harbor on the west coast of Sumatra island that had the potential to support Indonesia`s import and export activities.
Meanwhile, Regional Representative Council chairman Irman Gusman said the port is in need of immediate expansion.
He pointed out that the port often got overcrowded because ships spent a long time queuing up for loading and unloading purposes.
"Expansion of the port would facilitate exports not only from West Sumatra, but also from other neighboring provinces," Irman stated.
"Teluk Bayur is vital for West Sumatra`s economy because it is the gateway for Indonesia`s export and import activities with India and the Middle East, two major economic growth centers," he added.
Irman said exporters were currently hesitating to use the port because the availability of ships at the port could not be guaranteed yet.
He said PT Pelindo II would also gain from the expansion of the port, as there would be more ships using its services.
"Expansion of the port will also need development of other infrastructures such as proper roads to and from the port," Irman added.