Philippines, Indonesia Unite To Improve Business Cooperation

Philippine aircraft
An aircraft (L) transporting Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte taxis past a Vietnam Airlines aircraft after landing at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam September 28, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Kham/File Photo)

The give memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed between the Philippines and Indonesia was accomplished as part of the goal to enhance business cooperation and exchange between the two countries.

Last month's signing of the MoUs stemmed from the first-ever Philippines-Indonesia Economic and Investment Summit in Jakarta mid-June. Economists believe business collaboration between both parties will now be stronger and more involved than ever.

Among the Philippine corporations involved in the business, agreements are Jet-Tech Philippines, Weepay Processing Corp., and Blue Pearl Travel and Tours. Indonesian companies that signed deals with the said firms are Satmarindo Group, PT Aliyad Destinasi Indonesia, PT Passpod Indonesia, and KOIN TOKO Indonesia.

The deals range from coconut farming and production, tourism exchange between the countries, financial technology projects, and e-commerce enhancement. Digital tourism is another key sector that MoUs promote.

Indonesia and the Philippines already have agreements on coffee, motor vehicle components and accessories, refined copper, coal production, coffee extracts, and motorcycle accessories.

While bilateral trade between the ASEAN nations has been improving at an average of 3.4 percent on a yearly basis since 2014, industry experts believe the figures will expand further due to the new MoUs.

The tourism trade boost brought forth by the strengthening of Philippines-Indonesia business ties echoes Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Deputy Chairperson for International Relations, Shinta Widjaja Kamdani's comments shortly after the signing.

Shinta said the two sides now have the power to take advantage of tourism opportunities and potential packages that traveling countrymen will support. He said tourism packages for both nations will help attract third country tourists from the west.

Aside from June marking 70 years of bilateral and diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Indonesia, barter trading is also expected to resume. The said practice was done centuries ago by the two countries.

An official with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) confirmed that the ancient trading practice will be resumed after formal guidelines are set in place and agreed on by both sides.

The Philippines is also expected to resume this trading practice with Malaysian traders. Reviving the old practice will promote "formal engagements" among bartering parties in border areas from all three countries, director III at Investment Promotion and International Relations Office of MinDA, Olie B. Digala, said.

Over the past few years, the Philippines has been forming alliances with ASEAN countries in a bid to boost foreign investments and trade activities that should boost the economy while ensuring that all parties are benefiting.

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