International Ferry Routes for Alor and Kupang to Timor Leste

RI and RDTL Ambassador Sahat Sitorus on an International Meeting in Dili,Timor Leste few days ago. Photo: Doc.Fortuna

The governments of Indonesian and Timor Leste are planning to open an international ferry service that connects 2 ports from the province of East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia to Dili, Timor Leste. The targeted routes are certainly the Maritaing port in Alor Regency and Kupang City port to Dili

The opening of this international route is strategically to ease the trade access between the two countries which directly borders to both sea and land. The areas around the Alor Islands, Lembata and Flores can be connected to Timor Leste, without having to go through mainland of Timor. Thus, it mobilizes and markets agricultural products, livestock and logistics in a relatively larger number on the same occasion in two countries.

The Indonesian -RDTL Ambassador, Sahat Sitorus admitted that the international route is being seriously explored. The aim is to increase economic cooperation and the interests of the people of both countries.

“These two international routes are being explored and discussed intensely between the two officials both in Timor Leste and in Jakarta.”We hope that the central government will provide support and in the near future this international sea route will be realized soon,” RI-RDTL Ambassador SahatSitorus said through WhatsApp service this morning.

Sitorus said that the discourse on Angkutan Sungai Danau danPenyebrangan (ASDP) from Kupang-Dili was being explored. Even some businessmen from Dili in East Timor are ready to pick up the big plans of these two countries. However, ASDP Kupang has not yet responded to a letter from the Indonesian Embassy (KBRI) office in East Timor for that matter.

The same thing was conveyed by the Head of the NTT Province Transportation Service, Isyak Nuka. According to him, the two routes are very strategic from many aspects, so it is worth opening. Even for the MaritaingAlor-Dili route, the priority is geographically close and the duration is only 2 hours.

It is very ironic if the long route from Makassar-Dili which takes tens of hours of voyages has been opened but from Kupang and Alor, which have shorter distance traveled yet

Head of the NTT Province Transportation Service, Isyak Nuka, ST,MM. Photo :Fortuna

Isyak said that his company and partners of PT. ASDP had discussed the international crossing trajectory plan especially Maritaing is a priority location for sea boundaries between countries. The ASDP operator is said to be ready but the one that still becomes the issue is that the sea boundary until now has not been established between East Timor and Indonesia which is the central authority.

Overcoming this, Deputy Governor Joseph NaeSoi recently discussed with the Indonesian National Border Management Agency (BNPB) in Jakarta and received a positive response. This means we are putting this plan to an end in a follow-up meeting with the government of the sea and hope that in the near future this plan can be realized, “he said.

The opening of international access has indeed received full support from the NTT provincial government. Even NTT Governor Viktor Laiskodat during his working visit to Oekusi on December 10, 2018 had submitted the plan and received a positive response from the Timor Leste government. The East Timorese government said Isyak was ready in terms of the fleet and port.

Dili International Sea Port. Foto : httpswww.cruisemapper.comportsdili-

Similarities in History and Culture

Moreover, he said, in addition to economic and international trade reasons, the plan to open the Alor-Dili route is also closely related to the historical traces and social relations between the people.

“Lots of our brothers and sisters in Dili and surrounding areas and in Maritaing have kinship. The term we are administratively different but one. Many ancestors from Timor Leste died and were buried in Maritaing and vice versa. We want this social affairs to be well established to help improve bilateral relations between the two countries, “he said

Ferry Port of Bolok Kupang. Photo: Doc. Fortuna

Support of the Commission V House of Representatives

The plan to open the Maritaing ferry route, Alor Nusa Tenggara Timur to Dili, Timor Leste was supported by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Commission V FaryDjemy Francis.

To on the sidelines of a recent working visit of the Commission V House of Representatives in Kupang, Fery said he wanted to confirm the plan to initiate theFery’s first voyage from Maritaing to Timor Leste.

Fary said “The information conveyed by the ASDP, the ships used to sail this route are ready, including the port, but dredging and is still needed around the port.”It is currently being dealt with foreign relation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the provincial government,” (team / 42na)

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