Presidential opening for Austal’s Cebu yard

Manila: The president of the of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino (pictured), visited Austal's shipyard in Balamban, Cebu last week to formally mark the facility's opening.The event was attended by approximately 300 people.

During his speech the President remarked on the growth of the shipbuilding sector in the Philippines, adding: "Today, we have the honour of formally welcoming to our country yet another company that will accelerate the growth of this sector: Austal. At the moment, you may still be a growing company in our country, but I cannot overstate the impact of your arrival in the long run.

"I would also like to tell you that our administration will continue supporting your industry to make it easier for companies like you to build ships here.”

The Philippine government has earmarked shipbuilding as a key industry to promote to overseas companies. Plenty of financial incentives including tax breaks have been introduced to entice overseas firms to set up shop in the archipelago.

Austal's Philippines shipyard has recently completed its first ship, a highly advanced world-first trimaran design for the European wind farm market. Its next ship, which is well underway, is a car and passenger ferry which Austal believes will be the largest ferry ever built in the Philippines. Another three wind farm vessels will follow it, ensuring work for the shipyard until at least the end of 2013.  [22/01/13]

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