Home » Breaking News » PH gov’t bullish on shipbuilding, other sunrise sectors

The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is eyeing shipbuilding among new sunrise industries which could boost exports and economic growth.

“We are continuing to look for these additional BPOs (business process outsourcing) that can bring our economic growth faster…It could be shipbuilding. We are now fourth largest in the world after China, Korea and Japan,” Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said during a recent forum.

Domingo noted Tsuneishi and Hanjin, two of the country’s major shipbuilders, are planning to expand and that more companies are keen on putting up major shipbuilding facilities in the Philippines.

DTI is pinning its hopes on the performance of shipbuilding and nine other export winners to double the country’s export receipts to $120 billion by 2016.

Other export winners chosen for their track record and capacity for higher growth include the BPO industry and tourism in the services sector, electronics, agribusiness, minerals, motor vehicle parts, garments and wearables and furniture and home furnishings.

Domingo said his department will continue providing support to big success sectors, including BPOs and the electronics industry, and will also focus on the development of small and medium enterprises.

The government aims to promote investments in the shipbuilding industry by focusing on markets such as Korea and Japan. It expects investments in the industry to grow to P93 billion by 2014. The export market, dominated by foreign shipbuilders, now accounts for more than 98% of the total Philippine industry turnover and is seen to increase further.

Shipbuilding is part of government’s Investment Priorities Plan where investors enjoy a host of competitive privileges. An industry study by the Board of Investments (BOI) shows that in the last five years, emerging shipbuilding nations like India, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brazil have been beefing up their shipbuilding capacities and can be threats to existing shipbuilding nations.

The entry of foreign shipbuilders in the Philippines opened up possibilities for the country to enter the export market. Majority of ships for export are of large tonnage capacity like bulk carriers, containerships and big passenger ferries.

Helping the shipbuilding industry is the availability of management and skilled labor and a liberalized environment that facilitates imports of raw materials.

The BOI report noted many areas in the country are suitable shipbuilding bases, making the Philippines a potential shipbuilding and ship repair hub in Asia.

There is a shipyard in the Maritime Industrial Park within the Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental. The 54,000-hectare business hub in Port Irene at the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority is also being primed to be the country’s next world-class shipyard. It is now undergoing upgrade, including lengthening of the pier to accommodate 20,000 deadweight-ton vessels.

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