Naming Ceremony for HHIC - Phil Inc. HULL NOs. PN-024/025 DWT 175,000 MT Bulk Carriers M/V "Rahi" & M/V "Vanshi"
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines — President Benigno S. Aquino III lauded Korean shipbuilding giant Hanjin Heavy Industry Corp.-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) for bringing huge economic gains to the local economy during his visit here Wednesday.
Aquino cited the Korean firm during the vessel-naming ceremony for two bulk-carrier ships that were recently produced at the Subic shipyard – proof, he said further, of what could be achieved in partnership ventures between the government and the private investor.
Both vessels, which were subsequently named as M/V Rahi and M/V Vanshi respectively, were purchased by the Adani Shipping Pte Ltd. of India and weighed 175,000 deadweight tons each.
Aside from Aquino, those who graced the event included officers of HHIC-Phil led by group chairman Jin Kyu Ahn, officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) which administers this free port, and representatives of local government units.
“The ships that we are naming today signal the sending off of another ship— the ship of cooperation toward the horizon of the future,” Aquino said in his message.
The President also noted that among the foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the country, “Korean investors, like Hanjin, are among the most aggressive in placing their bets in the Philippines.”
Aquino said South Korea in 2010 has funneled some P24.2-billion worth of investments in the country, which accounted for about 40 percent of the total FDIs last year.
He added that HHIC alone, which has invested a total of $1.9-billion in its shipyard and skills training center in this free port since 2006, now accounts for some $3.5-billion in shipbuilding exports annually.
“You have given a lifeline to many of my countrymen who have tethered on the edge of poverty,” Aquino told Hanjin officials.
In return, Aquino vowed that his administration will continue to support foreign investors to sustain the quality of their outputs, and to extend tax privileges such as VAT exemption in the importation of equipment and machinery, and waive certain restrictions in the use of consigned equipment, among others. By FRANCO G. REGALA and JONAS REYES - mb.com.ph