Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, July 28, 2008

SBMA inks sister port pact with Guangxi, China

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has signed a sister port pact with Guangxi, China to establish mutually beneficial relationships with major economic growth centers in the Asia Pacific region.

The port in Guangxi is considered as China’s gateway to the ASEAN countries.

“Our proximity to China is one edge that Subic must exploit to its advantage,” SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga said in a statement.

Salonga explained that the sister-port agreement between Subic and Guangxi is expected to pave the way for stronger economic ties with China, which is emerging as a global economic power.

He noted that in Guangxi, the demand for mineral products like iron ore and nickel could be the basic platform to jumpstart the volume of shipment between the two ports.

“We must also learn to match the use of our country’s resources with current and emerging global situations,” Salonga said. “This is why we have fast-tracked the completion of the 600,000-TEU New Container Terminal (NCT 1 and 2) project here in Subic to boost our bid to become a major maritime industry player,” he added.

Salonga signed the agreement recently with Ye Shi Xiang, who chairs the Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port (Group) Co., Ltd.

The Chinese firm manages three major ports in the Guangxi Zhang Autonomous Region, and is now undertaking projects for a marine terminal and a logistics base.

According to Salonga, SBMA has refocused its development efforts towards the maritime industry as a cornerstone, the port of Subic had initiated tie-ups with major ports around the world, aside from playing a more active role in INAP of which it is a founding member.

SBMA has been entering into partnership agreements with different firms in the past year.

In October, a cooperation agreement between Subic and Maryland’s Foreign Trade Zone led to a sister-port link-up between Subic and the port of Baltimore, now the top-ranking port in the US East Coast.

Later this month, another sister-port agreement will be signed by Subic with the port of San Diego, in California. By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio - PhilStar

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