Home » Maritime » PH progress hinges on key structural changes — Expeditors

IF the Philippines is serious in catching the Asian express train, it has to address a few key areas, according to logistics firm Expeditors, Inc.

Barthul Hoefnagels, Regional Manager Network Solutions Group, Asia at Expeditors International, said the country needs to reduce graft and corruption; improve and enforce intellectual property rights; build and execute long-term logistics infrastructure strategy; increase cargo capacity for imports and exports; improve ports to accommodate non-feeder vessels; attract foreign investments and ensure continuity; develop the work force; build knowledge exchange programs rather than export workers; and build entrepreneurs.

"These are the major concerns that the country should address to catch the train otherwise they will be left out," Hoefnagels said.

"With most of the growth areas in the next two decades expected to come mainly in Asia, the Philippines can ill afford not to make the necessary investment and adjustments considering that the country continues to remain resilient despite the current economic uncertainties," he added.

Nine of the top 10 global ports are in Asia — Singapore; Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao and Tianjin in China; and Busan in Korea. These ports have been growing at least 20% in the last four years with the exception of China ports which have been growing from 80-180%.

The Philippines, on the other hand, ranked 35th in the world in terms of ocean freight handled, with growth of only 4-6% in the last four years.

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