RP aims high in shipbuilding
CEBU CITY - The shipbuilding industry is on course to make the Philippines the fourth-largest shipbuilding nation in the world in the next 5 to 10 years.
Roberto Aboitiz, president of FBMA Babcock Marine Inc., said the company and its business partner, Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu) Inc., located in Balamban, western Cebu, have exported ships costing $1.28 (about P71 billion) since 1994, making it the third-largest exporter in Central Visayas.
Tsuneishi accounted for P67 billion and FBMA, P4 billion.
In his presentation on the outlook for the shipbuilding industry during the Sun Star Economic Forum 2005 last week, Aboitiz said the industry should aim for product and service excellence, while the government should encourage more investors so the country could become a major player in shipbuilding.
However, Aboitiz warned that the political crisis in the country is delaying the achievement of this goal.
He called for unity among the industry leaders to implement the needed policies in the shipbuilding trade.
Tsuneishi, which builds one ship every 42 days, is on the second phase of its expansion, producing 100,000-dead-weight-ton ships. Aboitiz said it plans to make pure truck and car carriers by 2006.
Sandra Manuel, National Economic and Development Authority officer in charge, said that from the production of 30 bulk carriers from 1997 to 2002 and another 14 bulk carriers worth $233 million from 2003 to 2004, Tsuneishi is aiming to finish 20 bulk carriers worth $550 million this year until 2005. PNA/Manila Times