Strengthening Transportation, Logistic Systems is Pivotal Amidst Pandemic, Minister Says
Date 17 Juli 2020
During a virtual ASEAN-China Transport Ministers Special Meeting on Thursday (16/7), Indonesian Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi addressed issue on strengthening the transportation and logistics system during COVID-19 pandemic.
Transportation and logistics system arrangement have an important role to curb the virus transmission as well as to encourage economic recovery.
“Indonesia encourages countries in ASEAN and China to formulate joint and collaborative actions and strategic steps in the transportation sector to build resilience amidst pandemic, and to share best practices and experiences in the transportation sector,” the Minister said.
On the meeting, Budi expressed Indonesia’s commitment and determination to ensure the logistics system and transportation connectivity, especially in the ASEAN region, could run well during the ongoing pandemic.
Some of these commitments include ensuring that all ports in Indonesia remain open to give priority to logistics transportation, such as: basic needs, staple goods, and medical equipment. Next is paying attention to the situation faced by many sailors trapped on ships overseas by making a Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) on the repatriation of Indonesian sailors, so they can return home safely according to health protocols.
“Until now, Indonesia has managed to repatriate around 24,000 sailors to return safely,” explained Budi.
Further commitment is the Indonesian Government has also set a period of Adapting to New Habits whereby transportation control is carried out by applying health protocols to facilitate the people movement so that they can remain productive but safe from COVID-19. This was done in order to recover the economic aspect affected by the pandemic.
The Minister went on to say that amidst the current situation, cooperation and collaboration between countries, including bilateral cooperation between ASEAN member countries and China can be continued, one of which is the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway project. Indonesia appreciates the commitment of China in the collaboration project and plans to expand the project from Bandung to Surabaya.
In addition, during the pandemic, Indonesia also continue to make efforts to improve national connectivity, one of which was to complete the master plan for the construction of the New International Airport in North Bali, including the operation of bus and train to connect northern and southern parts of the island. The Minister explained that Bali as a leading tourist destination in the country requires a well-designed transportation system to expand its connectivity.
Then, Indonesia also offers cooperation in the development of transportation in the context of capital relocation from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, which adopts the concept of Smart System Smart Mobility, sustainable and environmentally friendly.
“We invite colleagues in ASEAN and China to collaborate and support the land, sea, and air transportation development projects as well as rail infrastructure projects in Indonesia through the Public-Private Partnership scheme,” said the Minister.
He added that the initiative and collaboration carried out under the ASEAN-China transportation cooperation framework were needed to achieve a common goal which was to immediately encourage economic recovery, both regionally in ASEAN-China and globally. (Ministry of Transportation/EN)
Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by: Yuyu Mulyani