MY TWO CENTS’: Welcoming Indonesian Trade

MY TWO CENTS’: John Carlo Tria

As the M/V Baltic Summer operated by Refeer Express Line Filipinas arrived in Kudos Port, Sasa, Davao City on its first soft sailing operation of the Davao-Bitung (Indonesia) shipping route, a new hope for trade within the Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines – East Asia Growth Area (BIMP- EAGA) corridor has risen.

The route, with extended links to Labuan, Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam is expected to allow quick delivery of  cargo accross Southeast asia from Davao. This is a route that we have long awaited.

This matters much because it may start off a set of new cargo links that can bring Mindanao’s products to new markets and vice versa allowing the islands traders faster and more affordable logistics, avoiding the long winded, expensive and often congested connections through the port of Manila.

Direct shipping allows the transport of perishable items such as seafood. 

The challenge now is sustaining this route, possible by lowering docking and wharfage fees, ad eventually negotiating good rates for shippers as the route is still in its infancy. As volume grows, higher capacity ships can be deployed, lowering costs further.

This, as the Indonesian consulate and its new consul general Dicky Fabrian also celebrates a business fair in a major mall bringing several traders and suppliers direct to southern Mindanao, which is also home to thousands of ethnic indonesians. Bringing closer business ties is good for us.

This is because our regional economy continues to grow and exceed national growth, there is a need to keep pushing and expanding growth by expanding business opportunities and lowering costs.

We will need to consolidate business ties and perhaps look at nearby Indonesia as a source of opportunities, such as an additional raw materials and commodities suppliers like corn to feed our poultry farms.  

Affordable raw materials are what makes our industries competititve. We recall how four years ago low local corn production pushed the price of chicken up.

Learning these lessons, the capability to engage in business continuity planning requires local producers to not be dependent on local sources of raw materials, rather, to expand sourcing and improve efficiencies to keep raising levels of production. 

All asian economies that have become successful have done so by pushing production and increasing quality. In the more complex global marketplace, this is how brands are built to be successful.

Thanks for joining our MSME Week

We would like to thank all those who exhibited and visited our Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) week, an annual event organized by the City government, DTI the Davao City zchamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCII) and other agencies. The trade fair at the Abreeza atrium was a success, and the young entrepreneurs summit at the University of Southeastern Philippines was likewise the start of what may be an important annual sub event of this important week.