The Maersk Group has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the Indonesian government that aims to help the maritime and economic development of Bitung in eastern Indonesia and improve inter-island connectivity.
The LOI was signed jointly between the Maersk Group and Indonesian officials during a maritime seminar titled ‘Increasing Connectivity’ held in the presence of Henrik, His Royal Highness the Prince Consort of Denmark during the Danish State Visit to Indonesia.
The LOI aims to stimulate trade and economic development in Bitung and eastern Indonesia by increasing connections with more developed parts of the country (such as Java), regional partners (ASEAN countries) and global export markets (such as Europe and USA).
Bitung has been identified as a special economic development zone and a strategic national transportation hub, Maersk Group said.
“We want to support the development of eastern Indonesia by understanding the challenges and opportunities for the supply chains of key commodities such as tuna, coconut and their downstream products, as well as the potential of aquaculture development and the need to improve vocational skills in this area,” Jakob Friis Sorensen, president director of Maersk Line in Indonesia, in a statement.
Sorensen and Rene Piil Pedersen, the Maersk Group’s representative for Asia-Pacific, signed the LOI jointly with Dr Ridwan Djamaluddin, Indonesia’s deputy coordinating minister for maritime affairs for infrastructure, and Dr Edy Putra Irawady, deputy minister for trade and industry from the coordinating ministry for economic affairs.
The company and its Indonesian partners will collaborate firstly to understand the key drivers in the coconut and tuna industries. The project will also look customs clearance processes, cargo release and other border procedures; the flow of goods through the port, regulation and Bitung’s regional and international liner shipping liner connectivity.
“If successful, our aim is to make Bitung a model for replicating good practice in other parts of Indonesia to bring about increased trade for the country,” said Sorensen.
Maersk Line launched a direct service linking Bitung port to the transshipment port of Tanjung Pelepas, Johor in April 2014, becoming the first line to do so.