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RP-Indonesia RO-RO

The Philippines first roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) vessel routes to its Southeast Asian neighbors will sail by mid-year and the first stop will be in Indonesia, according to the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PPCI).

Because of this, the transfer of goods between the Philippines and Indonesia will soon improve. The routes will be at the ports in Davao and General Santos in the Philippines and in Bitung in Indonesia, according to a statement.

“The private sector has taken the lead in spearheading the implementation of the project through a bilateral arrangement,” PCCI President Miguel Varela said.

Compared to transporting goods via wooden vessels, sailing through the RO-RO can cut costs by about 10 percent. Transportation time will also be reduced to at least one day and a half from two to three days using previous routes.

Varela said the initiative is a milestone in improving connectivity with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and in expanding trade, tourism and investments.

Indonesia was the Philippines’ 12th biggest trading partner in 2012, receiving $837 million or 1.61 percent of the country’s exports, data from the Trade department website showed.

The planned Philippines — Indonesia RO-RO route is made in preparation for the maiden voyage of the “Super Shuttle” RO-RO.

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