SUBIC BAY FREPORT: Port operations in the country’s premier freeport is expected to experience increased activities as the Taiwan government expressed keen interest in building partnership with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
Lawyer Randy Escolango, SBMA officer-in-charge (OIC) administrator, said that executive officials from Taiwan Maritime and Port Bureau, in their recent visit here, are keen to the possibility of creating partnership in transshipment.
”We are hoping that this partnership with the Port of Taiwan will come to reality. Because this is in line with the priority programs of President Duterte’s administration making the Port of Subic to become a major port in Asia,” Escolango said.
The partnership aims to increase the volume of container traffic between the Port of Subic Bay and Taiwan Ports, through Yang Ming Shipping Line.
”I even suggested to the Director General of Taiwan Port Bureau to encourage industries in Taichung to use the Port of Subic as gateway in the region,” he said.
The “Southbound Policy” of the Taiwan government has initiated concrete measures in prioritizing countries south of Taiwan, including the Philippines, in the area of trade and investments.
Due to this paradigm shift, the Philippines is taking advantage of this opportunity to capture the matured growth of industries in Taiwan in the fields of high-value manufacturing, innovation, logistics and transshipment, renewable energy, e-commerce and financing.
Escolango noted that Taiwan is the Philippines’ sixth trading partner with USD7.85 billion worth of bilateral trade in 2015.
At present, there are 52 Taiwanese companies in Subic Freeport, mostly inside the Taiwanese-run Subic Bay Gateway Park, with over USD500 million worth of investments generating 12,500 direct employment and hundreds more in indirect jobs, such as transport service and catering.
Meanwhile, Escolango said that the Port of Subic has undergoing development and improvement projects in anticipation of increased port activities next year.
Projects completed under the 2015 infrastructure budget include the improvement of road networks inside the Naval Supply Depot, which is being utilized as unloading, warehousing and stockpiling area of imported bulk grains, containerized and non-containerized items.