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This issue is mostly about industry expectations. PortCalls reporter Maritess Mesias asked industry captains what they see happening to their respective sectors in 2004.

Their answers did not surprise. Most said they were happy to say goodbye to 2003, a year that will forever be remembered for the SARS outbreak and the Iraq war. Many mentioned security, and the costs that come with ensuring it, as their utmost concern. Others expressed concern over the outcome of the coming May elections, though at least one cited its benefits through increased employment and its trickle-down effects. It seems the Filipino’s sense of optimism could just not be supressed.

Against many odds – some age-old and seemingly insurmountable – most industry captains said they were certain of a recovery this year. They expect the economy to perk up, bringing with it benefits for all sectors of the logistics and transport industry.

Among the reasons cited for this optimistic scenario are increased government support and, more commonly, the fact that 2003 was such a bad year that a repeat is highly unlikely.

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