Subic, other Asian ports to meet in Cebu for 12th INAP confab
Subic Bay Freeport (9 November) -- Officials from the Port of Subic will meet with counterparts from other Asian ports today, as members of the six-nation International Network of Affiliated Ports (INAP) convene for their 12th annual conference in Cebu City.
Capt. Perfecto Pascual, head of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Seaport Department, said the 2-day INAP conference at the Radisson Blue Hotel Cebu will comprise a series of discussions and workshops under this year's theme of "Relevance of Worldwide Port Networks."
Aside from the Port of Subic, the members of INAP include the ports of Cebu in the Philippines, Kochi in Japan, Mokpo in South Korea, Qingdao in China, Tanjung Perak in Indonesia, and Colombo in Sri Lanka.
"Everything is going global," explained Pascual. "INAP is an international alliance whose primary goal is to put its member-ports at an advantage, on better playing fields, so that members could cash in on the globalization trend, as well as shield each other from its ill-effects."
"Now, we will be discussing how our member-ports could expand their role in the global maritime industry," he added.
The main agenda in the Cebu conference, Pascual said is to finalize guidelines for INAP's technical exchange program, which covers the sharing of information, technology, best practices, and even manpower among the INAP members.
Pascual added that some ports - Tanjung Perak, Mokpo, Subic and Cebu - have already started on the exchange program.
"The INAP as a whole stands to gain from the results of these exchange programs. These will be exclusively discussed on the second day of the conference," he said.
INAP members will hold their plenary meeting as first agenda for the day, wherein officials from each member-port will present their ongoing projects, as well as projections related to the global maritime trade.
A tour of Cebu City's port facilities will follow in the afternoon.
Pascual said the SBMA sends a 12-man delegation to the 12th INAP conference as a "show of gratitude and respect" to the Cebu Ports Authority, which sent a similar number of delegates to the 10th INAP conference hosted by the SBMA in the Subic Bay Freeport in 2008.
"As in the previous INAP gatherings, SBMA will highlight its growing maritime capability. We will continue to boast of Subic's world-class port facilities, including its 15 piers and wharves, as well as the Hanjin shipyard, which is the fourth largest shipbuilding facility in the world," Pascual said.
Pascual added that SBMA, which administers the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, continues to reap benefits from the INAP network through exchanges in information on the global shipping trade, as well as from its economic partnership with sister-ports.
He said that since its inception in 1998, the INAP has been working through its annual conferences to expand its membership base and cement better economic ties between member ports. (PIA Zambales) [top]