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Visayas, Mindanao conferences tackle shipping developments, challenges

More than 300 cargo transport stakeholders recently gathered to discuss trade prospects and share updates on maritime-related infrastructure and policies for Visayas and Mindanao.

Providing the venues for such discussions were the 2nd Visayas Shipping Conference 2018, held on August 2 at the Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino in Mactan, Cebu, and the 3rd Mindanao Shipping Conference 2018, which took place on August 3 at the Waterfront Insular Davao in Lanang, Davao City.

In both events organized jointly by PortCalls and Asia Customs & Trade, National Economic and Development Authority Chief Economic Development Specialist Estrella Turingan provided economic prospects for the near and medium term, and highlighted some game-changing infrastructure projects for Visayas and Mindanao.

Asia Customs & Trade chairman and former Bureau of Customs (BOC) deputy commissioner for Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group Atty. Agaton Teodoro Uvero, meanwhile, gave updates on the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Setting down rules and reminders for post-clearance audit was BOC assistant commissioner Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla, head of the customs agency’s recently revived Post-Clearance Audit Group.

For its second run, the Visayas Shipping Conference had Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino as keynote speaker. His speech, delivered by Cebu Port Authority (CPA) general manager Angelo Verdan, talked about the administration’s major projects and programs for the region.

Verdan discussed the latest developments in the construction of the new Cebu container terminal, and Atty. Annabel Pulvera-Page, Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp. legal and corporate development manager, talked about facility and process improvements at the Port of Cebu.

Angelia Chew, founder and managing partner of Singapore-based AC Trade Advisory Pte Ltd., revealed mega trends emerging in international trade and what they meant for businesses in the Asia-Pacific.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Consul Antonio Chiu provided a shippers’ perspective on challenges to trade facilitation in the Visayas, particularly in Cebu.

For the 3rd Mindanao Shipping Conference 2018, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Datu Haj Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto detailed fresh information on the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area), the sub-regional group founded in Davao that aims to increase trade, tourism, and investments inside and outside the four member countries. He also updated participants on other MinDA programs, as the authority aims to develop and boost Mindanao’s trade and competitiveness.

Davao International Container Terminal (DICT) vice president Bonifacio Licayan gave updates on Davao’s container and trade volume projections, as well as on facility developments at DICT.

Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. Davao Chapter president Antonio Marañon shared the challenges to trade facilitation faced by shippers in Mindanao while Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines executive director Norman Adriano identified opportunities in building supply chain capacity. – Roumina Pablo


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