The Philippines’ standing as a major shipbuilder in Asia is expected to be highlighted at next week’s 15th Asia Pacific Maritime (APM) event, where global maritime industry leaders and experts will share insights, trends and opportunities in shipbuilding and related industries.
Promoted as Southeast Asia’s biggest shipbuilding and marine, workboat and offshore exhibition and conference, APM will run at the Marina Bay Sands and Expo Convention Center in Singapore from March 14 to 16.
According to its organizers, APM offers a chance for the Philippines, considered the world’s fourth-largest shipbuilding country and top provider of seafarers, to attract more investors and improve their stature in the industry.
“The Philippine economy is experiencing one of the highest growth rates in the region, averaging between 5 percent and 7 percent annually. The local maritime industry is expected to grow proportionally with the economy, [and]the positive outlook on the economy has also attracted increased competition,” said Pauline Ngo, CEO of Dynamic Power Marine and Industrial Hardware Inc., one of the event’s sponsors and exhibitors.
“As with any growing economy, there are tremendous opportunities for the [maritime]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,” she added.
She cited the Maritime Industry Authority’s (Marina) proposed 10-year Maritime Industry Development Program (MIDP 2018-2028) that President Duterte is expected to approve soon.
MIDP outlines the integrated development initiatives for the maritime industry. It covers maritime administration and manpower; domestic and overseas shipping; shipbuilding; and ship repair and breaking.
The Philippines’ location has provided the foundation it needs to become a major maritime country. With large potential for growth and opportunities in domestic and international shipping, shipbuilding and ship repair, fishing, and other marine-related industries, the country will focus on developing these sectors for the next 10 years.
Also on top of Marina’s priorities within the MIDP framework is to invest in human resources. There are about 700,000 Filipinos pursuing seafaring jobs worldwide.
Aware that the industry needs more manpower, APM will hold a new career and skills pavilion for those seeking prospective career, networking, and training and development opportunities in the maritime and offshore sectors.
“The potential for the Philippines’ maritime industry—including port development, shipping tonnage and shipyard capacity expansion, among others—is tremendous. It is good that the Philippines has laid out…the MIDP 2018-2028, but [it must be constantly reviewed]to assess the effectiveness of its implementation,” said Nazery Khalid, honorary secretary of the Association of Marine Industries Malaysia and a speaker at APM.
“This will help the country live up to its potential as a shipbuilding nation to match the huge demand for ships, and its prowess as a global seafaring powerhouse,” he added.
The event will also highlight issues affecting the vessel market, namely the outlook on the tanker market, shifting trends in maritime finance, the industry’s priorities in marine fuels, and the latest hybrid technologies and offshore prospects.
“APM has established itself as a pivotal business platform connecting the global maritime world to Asia. Not only to do business, but [also]to enable discussions on regional developments and major industry shifts, by bringing together business leaders and experts in their respective fields,” APM Group Project Director Yeow Hui Leng said
“With the Philippines’ maritime industry expected to grow across most sectors, we see much potential for the industry to leverage the event to gain knowledge to aid in their business strategies, make new connections and discover business opportunities,” he added.