ICTSI unit upbeat on Subic growth prospects

By Louella Desiderio

MANILA, Philippines — Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC) is upbeat on the growth of Subic Bay Freeport Zone in terms of more investments and activities in the port area for this year.

 “The Subic Freeport Zone is bustling with activity from various logistics and trading firms and we project growth will continue due to the infrastructure program of the administration,” SBITC president Roberto Locsin said in a statement. 

As Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) anticipates increase in trade activity, it is making port expansion a priority this year. 

In particular, the national government has allocated P500 million to refurbish the piers and wharves in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone 4 this year. 

SBMA chairperson and administrator Wilma Eisma has also entered into strategic tieups with major US ports for Subic’s expansion and business plans this year.

 “Our priority is to make Subic a more open and competitive freeport in international trade. With additional investment prospects in the works, Subic Bay is moving forward with positive momentum,” Eisma said.

SBITC, a unit of International Container Terminal Services Inc., operates the container terminals of the Subic Bay Freeport. 

Last year, SBITC launched the container freight station which is envisioned to serve as a regional distribution center.

It likewise opened a container barge service late last year to promote inter-island trade with Cebu and Cagayan de Oro. 

The service connects Subic to Bacolod, Iloilo, Samar, and Leyte through the Cebu port, while the Cagayan de Oro port connects Subic to the whole island of Mindanao. 

Through the move, SBITC expects to open more opportunities for shippers around the country to connect with international trade through the Subic port.

“2018 will be an exciting year for the Subic Bay Freeport Zone as various international firms have recognized the potential of Subic Bay as a strategic gateway in the Asian market. With cautious optimism, SBITC will continue to be a progressive partner for economic prosperity through managing our ports.” Locsin  said.

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