SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The 2nd Subic Bay Maritime Conference and Exhibit will open here on Friday, April 24, with about 500 delegates expected at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center here.
With the theme “Subic Bay: Your Gateway to Central and Northern Luzon,” the conference is organized by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in cooperation with the Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC) to promote Subic as a major port in the region.
SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said the maritime conference will provide delegates comprehensive updates on the Freeport's “exciting prospects as a booming logistics hub and investments destination in Asia.”
He said that Subic Freeport, with its strategic location complemented by enhanced port facilities and infrastructure, “is now well-positioned to become the logistics hub north of Metro Manila.”
He pointed out that the Port of Subic handled more than the 77,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last year, which meant a 105% increase from the 37,400 TEUs processed in 2013.
“This year we aspire to hit a target volume of 120,000 TEUs, or 20% of the 600,000-TEU combined annual capacity of the port’s New Container Terminals 1 and 2,” Garcia added.
The one-day conference is expected to draw participants from shipping lines, logistics and supply chain firms, importers and exporters, manufacturers, as well as national and local government units and agencies, and other stakeholders in the maritime industry.
Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras will be the keynote speaker in the conference.
Other speakers and panelists include Chairman Garcia, SBITC general manager Roberto Locsin, SBITC vice chairman Francisco Delgado IV, USAID Compete Chief of Party Dr. Enrico Basilio, and Bases Conversion Development Authority president and CEO Att. Arnel Casanova.
Organizers said that Almendras and other speakers will provide insights on business opportunities arising in Northern Luzon with all the investments and planning that the government is putting into the area.
Among topics lined up are the latest processing improvements at the port, the Subic One-Stop Shop which will consolidate into one location all offices related to shipping through Subic port, and updates on new terminal equipment installed.
There will also be status reports on proposed development projects such as the construction of the New Container Terminals (NCT) 3 and 4, the Tipo Road expansion, and the planned Subic-Clark Corridor and Clark Green City.
Garcia said that the conference is an expression of SBMA’s optimism over the prospects of Subic as a maritime logistics hub.
He added that the SBMA is making administrative changes to fast-track import and export processing and simplify accreditation to encourage customs brokers, freight forwarders, and truckers to service the port. (30)