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PH’s shipbuilding industry to highlight Asia forum


By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

As the world’s fourth largest shipbuilding country, the Philippines will take center stage at the forthcoming gathering of maritime industry players in Singapore.

The 15th Asia Pacific Maritime (APM), Southeast Asia’s biggest shipbuilding and marine, workboat and offshore exhibition and conference, will look into major trends and issues shaping the industry in the Asia Pacific.

The three-day event, which will run from March 14 to 16 at the Singapore Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center, will gather together more than 40 leaders and experts from the global maritime industry. These experts will lead discussions on developments and opportunities in Asia Pacific’s maritime, workboat and offshore industries, sharing their insights and forecasts to help players forge the way forward.

Overview of the shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) shipyard in Subic Freeport. (MB file photo)

Overview of the shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) shipyard in Subic Freeport. (MB file photo)

Philippines: One of Asia’s shipbuilding powerhouses

The Philippines’ strategic geographic location provides the foundation it needs to become a major maritime country. With large growth potential and opportunities in both domestic and international shipping, shipbuilding and ship repair, fishing and other marine-related industries, which in turn create employment, the country will focus on the development of these sectors for the next 10 years.

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) drafted a 10-year Maritime Industry Development Program (MIDP 2018-2028) covering integrated development initiatives for the Philippine maritime industry. Expected to be approved by President Rodrigo Duterte and rolled out in 2018, it emphasizes maritime administration, domestic and overseas shipping, maritime manpower, shipbuilding, ship repair and ship breaking.

“The Philippine economy is experiencing one of the highest growth rates in the region, averaging between five percent to seven percent annually. The local maritime industry is expected to grow proportionally with the economy, however the positive outlook on the economy has also attracted increased competition.  As with any growing economy, there are tremendous opportunities for the marine industry, especially for an archipelago like the Philippines with over 7,000 islands and where links between the islands are mainly by sea and air,” said Pauline G. Ngo, CEO of Dynamic Power Marine & Industrial Hardware, Inc., which is the sole distributor of Weichai in the Philippines. Weichai is one of the world’s largest automobile and equipment manufacturer and the gold sponsor of APM 2018.

“We expect to increase our market share by five percent to 10 percent in the next two years. To tap on the expected growth, we plan to open new branches and service centers to service more marine engines from Weichai and its wide network of sales agents and dealers. Continuous training and development of key personnel is another area we will be looking into,” said Ngo. Dynamic Power Marine & Industrial Hardware Inc. is among this year’s participating exhibitors.

Ngo said the potential for the Philippines’ maritime industry – including port development, shipping tonnage and shipyard capacity expansion, amongst others – is tremendous.

“It is good that the Philippines has laid out a strategic long-term plan like the MIDP 2018-2028; but constant review must be undertaken to assess the effectiveness of its implementation. This will help the country live up to its optimal potential as a shipbuilding nation to match the huge demand for ships, and its prowess as a global seafaring powerhouse,” said Nazery Khalid, Honorary Secretary, Association of Marine Industries Malaysia and Head of Planning & Development, Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation.

At the APM Leaders’ Forum, which will kick off the three-day conference, will put the spotlight on the vessel market, specifically the outlook for the tanker market.

The shifting trends in maritime finance will also be tackled, along with an in-depth look at Vietnam’s growing maritime industry. Industry leaders will also examine the maritime industry’s priorities in marine fuels, the latest hybrid technologies and offshore prospects.

Industry leaders participating at the conference include Ed Stening, Chief Digital Officer Asia, CMA-CGM;GernotRuppelt, Senior Vice President, Chartering and Business Development at Ardmore Shipping Corporation; and Hassan Basma, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, HBA Offshore. KD Adamson, Futurist & CEO, Futurenautics; Peter Sand, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO; Capt. Vinay Singh, Managing Director, Anglo-Eastern Ship Management (India) and Director, Maritime Association of Ship Owners, Ship Managers & Agents (MASSA) and Woon Aw Yong, Shipping Clients International, Senior Vice President, HSH NordbankAG will also share their insights on industry trends and developments.

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