Indonesia, Philippines to sign deals on sea connectivity, agriculture cooperation
The Jakarta Post
Indonesia and the Philippines are set to sign agreements on sea connectivity and agriculture cooperation on Friday, as part of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's state visit to the country that shares maritime border with Indonesia.
The sea connectivity deal will focus on the establishment of a new shipping route between the port cities of Davao and General Santos in the Philippines and Bitung in North Sulawesi, which is expected to reduce shipping times between Davao and Bitung to 36 hours, saving the need to make stopovers in Manila.
Jokowi is in Manila for a bilateral meeting with his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte, which aims to improve trade and economic ties.
"The President will make use of the visit to strengthen bilateral and economic ties especially trade between the two countries," State Palace media bureau head Bey Triadi Machmudin said on Friday.
The two leaders will hold a joint press statement about the results of Friday's bilateral talks before Duterte hosts a welcoming dinner for Jokowi at the Malacanang Palace.
Although the new sea corridor is not in the waters where a string of kidnappings have occurred in the past, the maritime security issue, which had been tabled since Duterte's visit to Jakarta last September, is expected to also take center stage on Friday.
On Saturday, Jokowi will attend the 30th ASEAN summit in Manila; while on Sunday he will continue his trip to Hong Kong. (ipa)
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