The Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is set to send a trade mission to Jakarta and Manado on 4 to 8 September in a bid to sustain the Davao-General Santos-Bitung Roll-On, Roll-Off (RORO) operations and expand trade with Indonesia.

The DTI said it is lending support to the Davao Chamber of Commerce and the Indonesian Consulate in Davao in organizing the upcoming trade mission to Jakarta and Manado.

“Sustaining the RO-RO operations, launched in April this year by President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, is high on the agenda of DTI,” Trade and Investments Promotion Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado said.

“We want to see the sustained operations of the shipping service so our local entrepreneurs, particularly our small and medium enterprises in Mindanao, could begin to reap the gains from enhanced connectivity between Mindanao and Sulawesi, and the greater BIMP-EAGA region,” Undersecretary Terrado added.

The Philippine business delegation composed of government representatives and local entrepreneurs in Davao will focus on building networks and partnerships with Indonesian companies in the areas of trading, joint venture agreements, joint production schemes, and other forms of strategic partnerships.

Among the companies that are part of the delegation are Eagle Multi Purpose Cooperative, Mindanao Agriplus Corporation, Certuso Structural Speacialists Corporation, Halal Business Council, Aleson Shipping Lines, Inc. and Fastcargo Logistics Corp.

Business-to-business (B to B) meetings and networking sessions, site visits in Bitung Port as well as market and company visits are included in the mission’s itinerary.

DTI Regional Director Belenda Ambi noted that DTI expects targeted, high-quality meetings during the B2B and networking sessions. Meanwhile, market visits aim to help the business delegation to understand the Indonesian market in terms of product offerings, pricing, packaging, and competition.

“We enjoin the full cooperation of all stakeholders of both countries to maximize the opportunities being offered by the sustained operations of the route. This is a great opportunity that has been made available to local entrepreneurs to ensure that they could participate more in international business,” Ambi said.

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