Indonesia, Philippines sign 12 agreements hinh anh 1Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) meets with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Manila. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has held business dialogues and signed 12 memoranda of understanding (MoU) with Philippine partners during President Joko Widodo’s visit to the Philippines.

The signing of these agreements aimed to strengthen bilateral cooperation and information exchange on trade barriers of the two countries, said Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, Kadin’s Deputy Chairwoman for International Relations.

The inked MoUs involved property, pharmaceutical industry, infrastructure, manufacturing, tourism, distribution and consumer goods with a total investment of about 300 million USD.

Business expansion in the Philippines would extend Indonesian products reach, especially ones from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Successful Alfamart retailer stores of Indonesia are to open 400 stores in the Philippines.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo began his state visit to the Philippines from April 28 to attend the 30th ASEAN Summit and related meetings in the capital city of Manila.

He met with host President Rodrigo Duterte and the two agreed to boost maritime security cooperation to put an end to piracy on the waters between the two countries.

Besides, the leaders also discussed other issues such as drugs fight, trade relations and people-to-people exchanges.

During his stay in the Philippines, the Indonesian President attended the inauguration of a new shipping route linking eastern Indonesia with south Philippines in the Davao region, which are separated by the Celebes Sea.

The new route is expected to cut short goods delivery time to 2.5 days and save 70 percent of the cost. It is part of the bilateral economic cooperation to raise the two countries’ trade by 32 percent.

The Philippines is the 11th largest trading partner for Indonesia, with total bilateral trade valued at 3.51 billion USD in 2015. In 2016, bilateral trade was recorded at 4.9 billion USD, with an average growth of 6.3 percent made over the past five years. - VNA