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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)

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26 October 2008

Subic port to inject innovations in INAP conference

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will be introducing innovations in the program for the 10th International Network of Affiliated Ports (INAP) that it will host beginning Tuesday next week.

SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga said that for the first time in the 10-year history of INAP, the conference will feature business meetings among locators in the various member-ports, as well as an exhibition of products and services related to the maritime industry.

“These innovations will be introduced to maximize the opportunities that INAP conference may open to port operators and businessmen alike,” Salonga said.

“We want these new conference features to help in dynamically transforming the ports network into a bigger and more effective organization,” he added.

Salonga, who is the incoming INAP chairman to replace Gov. Masanao Ozaki of Kochi, Japan, also said that a total of 70 official delegates from INAP’s member-ports have confirmed their attendance to the conference.

The seven members of INAP are: Port of Subic, Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka, Port of Kochi in Japan, Port of Cebu, Port of Qingdao in China, Port of Tanjung Perak in Indonesia, and Mokpo Newport in South Korea, which joined the group last year.

Meanwhile, SBMA’s seaport general manager Perfecto Pascual, who is in charge of the preparations for the conference, said that the Port of Kochi has confirmed that about 20 Japanese businessmen will join Kochi’s official delegation to Subic.

“Korea is also coming in with some business representatives,” he said.

Among the local agencies, Pascual said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will also put up a booth at the exhibit hall of the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC) where the conference will be held.

The exhibits and business meetings will be important features of the conference because in the maritime community, Pascual explained, ports have multiplier effects in terms of employment, in generating major industries, and increasing export and import activities.

“These are the things that promote interrelationships among our ranks and promote commerce, not only here in Subic, but also with other member ports,” he added.

Pascual added that INAP officials will also consider during the conference here the organization’s policy on accepting new members.

“The current policy is that a port applying for membership should first have a sister-port agreement with any of the members,” he revealed. “But we might probably relax this policy, so that other interested ports can join even without a sister-port agreement with member ports.”

The proposed policy shift might help transform INAP into a bigger organization, Pascual said. (SBMA Corporate Communications

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