DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/09 July) – Delegates from the business sector in Bitung City, North Sulawesi will participate in the three-day “Wonderful Indonesia: Tourism, Food, and Trade Expo 2019” from July 12 to 14 in Davao City at the SM Lanang Premier here, Indonesian Consul General Dicky Fabrian said.
Fabrian said their participation aims to strengthen business ties between the two cities.
The diplomat in an interview said that aside from the expo the Indonesian consulate office here has lined up an Indonesia-Philippines Business Networking Session on July 11 at the Marco Polo Hotel.
He said this will give key local officials and Mindanawon business leaders a chance to join the business-to-business matching session with Indonesian businessman.
He said he hopes the meeting would boost bilateral trade and economic ties and build a relationship among Indonesian and Filipino businessmen.
He added around 20 exhibitors consisting of tour operators, producers of authentic Indonesia food and delicacies, and manufacturers of coffee, biscuits, chips, wafer, instant noodles, chocolate drinks, snacks, herbal drinks and food supplements will join the expo.
The event will also highlight the top tourist destinations of Indonesia such as Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya and Lombok.
Fabrian said the expo is part of Indonesia’s efforts to sustain the expanded sea connectivity in Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia and Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), a 25-year old sub-regional economic cooperation initiative in Southeast Asia designed to spur economic development in the lagging sub-economies.
Manila-based Reefer Express Line commenced the trial sail of the “expanded” Mindanao-North Sulawesi shipping route last June 16, 2019, or two years after the inauguration of the Davao City-General Santos City-Bitung, Indonesia shipping route by President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on April 30, 2017.
The route was previously serviced by the 500-TEU M/V Super Shuttle RORO 12, owned by Cebu-based Asian Marine Transport Corp., but it ceased operation immediately after its maiden voyage apparently due to lack of cargo.
The shipping service had been expanded to cover several other ports in the BIMP-EAGA, including Ho Chi Minh Port, Vietnam. It is expected to arrive at Kudos Port in Davao City on July 10. The vessel, on its second sail, will call port in General Santos City.
In a briefer released by the Indonesian consulate office, the total trade between Indonesia and the Philippines grew by 16.69 percent from 2014 to 2018. Indonesia emerged as the 14th top export market of the Philippines and 6th top supplier of imported goods.
The countries also agreed to seek ways to eliminate tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, especially in agricultural and food products. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)