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Clusters near hub seaports to boost exports –report

Monday, 17 September 2018 | 00:00

The Philippines should follow the success of other countries in developing strong export clusters centered near hub seaports to become a major exporting nation.

A policy brief on Philippine seaports and shipping published by The Arangkada Philippines Project (TAPP) cited as an example of a potential cluster in the Philippines the shipbuilding and ship repair yard based in Subic.

It said there are three shipyards in the area, with proximity to the Clark airport and Subic seaport.

The paper noted that Clark-Subic-Tarlac-Pampanga-Zambales region has other potential clusters, such as mango production in Zambales, which could develop into a robust trading hub, bringing more frequent ship visits into the area.

Aside from the Clark-Tarlac-Subic Corridor, the paper cited other ports and airports where the country could build strategic regional clusters, namely Batangas, Cebu, Coron and Aklan, Davao, Phividec in Cagayan de Oro, Leyte, and Sarangani and General Santos.

While Cebu has many opportunities for clusters in the furniture industry, it pointed out that furniture manufacturers are spread around the city and could be consolidated into a planned area near a new modern port.

“Airport, port, and logistics infrastructure in various regional cluster areas should be developed to address the need of each kind of goods and its trade traffic,” the report said. “Most importantly, the cluster by its nature must aim to scale up, to lower costs, produce larger volumes, attract larger ships, and lower costs to become competitive in global markets.”

The paper also underscored the need to provide competitive incentives, including fiscal ones, which will attract domestic and foreign exporters to locate in selected product clusters.
Source: SunStar

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