President Jokowi inaugurates new shipping line connecting Indonesia-Philippines

MANILA-- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has inaugurated a new shipping line connecting eastern Indonesian waters with the southern Philippines territory of Davao.

"I am happy to announce the opening of a new sailing route that would connect Davao to General Santos and Bitung waters," Jokowi said during his state visit to Manila on Friday.

President Jokowi also met the Philippines President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte at the Malacanang Palace and conducted a bilateral meeting discussing various sectors, including the maritime cooperation.

The previous shipping line between Indonesia and Philippine took six weeks to be completed because the goods had to transit through Jakarta.

The eastern waters of Indonesia directly border with the southern Philippines territory. The opening of the new line will cut the shipping time to 2.5 days.

The new shipping line will also cut the transportation cost by up to 70 percent.

"It is a bilateral economic cooperation to enhance the trade value of the two countries that would increase to 32 percent," Jokowi added.

Jokowi added that cooperation in security sector will also be intensified to exterminate terrorism and piracy in the area.

Jokowi and First Lady Iriana arrived at the Col Jesus Villamor Airport, Manila, the Philippines, on Friday afternoon.

After being greeted at a state ceremony, the two presidents held a "tete-a-tete" meeting followed by a bilateral meeting, involving the signing of a cooperation document and a joint press statement.

In the evening, Jokowi and his wife attended a state dinner at the Malacanang Palace.

Source: Philippines News Agency