SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) on Thursday expressed its interest in investing in this Freeport and in helping develop the Port of Subic to become a certified major port destination in Asia.
TIPC Chairman Chih-Ching Chang, in a meeting with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia at the SBMA office on Thursday, said that Taiwanese investors are eyeing Subic because of its location and facilities.
“Subic is the finest commercial and tourism destination in one that we have seen, and the future cargo shipping destination,” Chang said.
Chang explained that because the ports in Taiwan are nearing full capacity, many shippers in the island-state are planning to invest overseas and among the preferred destinations for them is Subic, specifically inside the Taiwanese-managed Subic Bay Gateway Park here.
“Subic must prepare for the future as more cargoes are expected to come here from Taiwan because the port in Taiwan is already full. They are coming to Subic and we (TIPC) can help make that happen,” Chang told Garcia.
Chang led an 18-man delegation from TIPC for an ocular inspection of the Subic port. The members included Kuo-Ying Huang, TIPC executive vice-president and CEO of the Kaohsiung Port; Min-Chuan Yen, director of Kaohsiung District Economic Development Association; and Carol Peng, president of the United Development Corp.
Chang noted that TIPC will be hosting a meeting with shipping companies and port users in Taiwan, and among the agenda is to convince them to send bulk or containerized cargoes to Subic.
Meanwhile, Garcia said that as more Taiwan companies and other foreign investors express the desire to locate in Subic, he has been spearheading a move to develop idle lands between Subic and the nearby Clark Freeport and convert these for industrial use.
“Subic has no more space to offer and there, along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, we can still develop at least 1,000 hectares for industrial parks that can be offered to investors,” Garcia said.
The SBMA official also told the Taiwanese visitors that Subic has been making headway in terms of transshipment and maritime logistics services.
He said that Subic’s P1.16 billion port revenue in 2015 has overshot the 2014 collection of P908.6 million, thereby registering an increase of 25 percent.
Garcia attributed the growth in port revenue to the increase in the volume of containerized cargo recorded in Subic, from 77,618 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2014 to 123,558 TEUs in 2015. The port yard utilization is now 30 percent, he added.
“We are confident that the increase in container volume handled by the Port of Subic will continue because many shippers have already experienced the convenience of using the Port of Subic,” Garcia noted.