PH prospects as shipbuilding center brighten

By: Ronnel W. Domingo, January 6th, 2013 11:02 PM

The Philippines is expected to become a major shipbuilding nation in Asia-Pacific, due to investment lures such as skilled but lower-priced labor.

According to research firm Frost & Sullivan (F&S), the Philippines—along with China, India and Vietnam, among others—is “rising to become (a) shipbuilding nation in the Asia-Pacific region, with offers of business incentives especially in the form of skilled cheap labor.”

The company said the maritime industry would benefit from the implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) by 2015 because of the broader production and distribution networks that the initiative will provide.

“Asean has also determined priorities that cover opportunities in cooperation in maritime connectivity and the development of port facilities among Asean member states,” F&S said.

The Philippines is regarded as a major economy within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in league with Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. The other Asean members are Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam.

“For emerging shipbuilding nations [such as the Philippines], shifting the focus to also include more research and development activities will help keep up market growth in the future,” F&S added.

At the same time, the company said the country was expected to show the highest growth rate in air passenger volume, at an average of 4.6 percent yearly until 2014.

F&S attributes this to the Philippines having the least passenger market share of only 24 million passengers handled in 2011, or 11.4 percent of total Asean volume.

F&S estimates that Philippine airports accommodated 25.3 million passengers in 2012, and will handle a total of 26.5 million in 2013 and 27.5 million in 2014.

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