Jokowi inaugurates Wasior Port in West Papua

Posted on 07 April 2016

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated Wasior Port in Wondamba Bay, West Papua, on Tuesday.

Wasior Port is part of the government’s sea toll road transportation program, launched in November, 2015, to connect Tanjung Priok in Jakarta and Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, East Java, to other major ports in Indonesia’s eastern provinces.

Three freighters currently ply three routes as part of the freight service program, transporting cargo between the two largest ports in Java and a dozen ports in Papua, Maluku and the Riau Islands.

“There will be six routes next year. Tickets will be subsidized so the people can also use this service,” Jokowi said at the inauguration.

Since late 2015, the government has completed the construction of 27 seaports and four ferry ports, Jokowi said. “The government plans to construct a further 68 ports across Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, Papua and Sulawesi,” he added.

The port development is to facilitate the smooth transportation of goods and people, the President said, emphasizing that such development was not linked to the price of commodities as the delivery of commodities still required other modes of transport.

Jokowi explained that good connectivity between cities and regions with better modes of transportation would significantly cut price disparity, adding that the government had been constructing a road to connect Manokwari, Wendes and Wasior that was expected to open next year.

Earlier, Trade Minister Thomas Lembong said the sea toll program has succeeded to cut prices in Papua. Four months after the launch, he saw a decline in the price of several products in Papua, especially in Fak-Fak and Kaimana, citing a 6 percent decline in the price of steel price, a 21 percent decline in the price of cooking oil, and a 35 percent price decline for chicken.

Traders need freight schedule certainty, while the fare is secondary, the minister said, adding that the presence of a regular freight service would encourage more and more traders to send goods to eastern regions.

Jokowi has ordered his Cabinet to create an efficient shipping route, increase the number and variety of freight services and deregulate the ports.

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