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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)

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24 July 2008

Subic signs sister-port pact with Guangxi, China

In a bid to establish mutually-beneficial relations with major economic growth centers in the Asia-Pacific region, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has recently signed a sister-port agreement with Guangxi, considered to be China's gateway to the ASEAN countries.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Feliciano Salonga signed the agreement recently with Ye Shi Xiang, who chairs the Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port (Group) Co., Ltd.

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

Salonga said that upon his invitation, Ye has also agreed to attend this year's conference of the International Network of Affiliated Ports (INAP) that will be hosted by the SBMA on October 28-29 at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center here.

The SBMA head said 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.

"Our proximity to China is one edge that Subic must exploit to its advantage," Salonga explained.

In the case of 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," he said.

"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 said that since the 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.

In October last year, 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 U.S. East Coast.

This month, another sister-port agreement will be signed by Subic with the port of San Diego, in California, he said.

Salonga also said that as host of the coming INAP conference, the SBMA had already sent invitations to member ports, including the ports of Colombo in Sri Lanka, Qingdao in China, Tanjang Peak in Indonesia, Kochi in Japan, Iquique in Chile, Mokpo Newport in South Korea, and the port of Cebu.

In the conference to be held here in October, INAP is expected to be joined by two other ports: Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, and Kaohsiung in Taiwan.

South Korea's Mokpo Newport, meanwhile, has requested the SBMA for additional invitations for its governor, mayor and the director-general of its maritime office, Salonga said. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

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