Virginia Port and Philippines' Subic Bay Port Authorities Establish New Alliance
The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and Virginia Port Authority established an Alliance of Cooperation on Saturday, March 2016 in a ceremony held at the Virginia International Gateway Terminal in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Delegate Ron Villanueva, City of Virginia Beach, Port of Virginia Authority, Subic Bay Authority Help to Secure Strategic Partnership.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Virginia Port Authority (VPA) established an Alliance of Cooperation on 05 March 2016 in a ceremony held at the Virginia International Gateway Terminal in Portsmouth, Virginia.
The Alliance was established by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Roberto V. Garcia, SBMA Chairman and Administrator; and John F. Reinhart, VPA CEO and Executive Director.
The MOU will provide a framework for information sharing aimed at generating new business by promoting the all-water route between the Subic Bay Freeport and The Port of Virginia. The Alliance will also explore joint marketing efforts; share non-confidential data that may be useful for developing the bilateral relationship of the ports; exchange information resulting from market studies that may be mutually relevant; look at the possibility of developing joint- or cross-training seminars; and transfer technical or technological capabilities.
Chairman Garcia underscored the MOU's importance to deepening the Philippines-US economic relationship. "This MOU is landmark and pioneering. It provides an opportunity for Subic Bay Freeport and the Port of Virginia to learn from each other with a view to cooperating on areas of mutual interest and concern in pursuit of economic development. The choice of Subic Bay Freeport also reaffirms the long-standing historical ties and friendship between the Philippines and the United States," Chairman Garcia said.
Russel J. Held, Vice President for Economic Development of the Virginia Port Authority, expressed optimism that the MOU will allow the two ports to share best practices with each other, and positively impact on jobs creation, tax space, and the economic well-being of the communities outside the gates of the two ports."Learning from each other is what the agreement is all about," said Mr. Held.
In a statement, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. also welcomed the signing of the MOU."This Alliance clearly reaffirms the dynamic and robust Philippine-US economic partnership. It is our hope that this Alliance of Cooperation between SBMA and VPA can deepen and strengthen not only the relationship of the Subic Bay Freeport and the Port of Virginia, but also trade and investment between the Philippines and the United States," Ambassador Cuisia, Jr. said.
At a meeting organized by the Virginia Beach Economic Development Office after the signing ceremony, Chairman Garcia and his delegation also met with Delegate Ron Villanueva, a Filipino-American member of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation.
The Philippine delegation and Delegate Villanueva had a wide-ranging discussion on issues relating to transportation, shipping, port operations, and opportunities for investments in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. At the same meeting, the delegation also fielded questions from the heads of a number of Virginia small businesses who are seriously interested in investing in the construction, real estate, and manufacturing sectors.
"I am elated that after several years of research and significant discussion this strategic relationship has been solidified and will strengthen trade and commerce between the Philippines and Virginia and the City of Virginia Beach and Olongapo. The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and with Virginia and Virginia Beach seeking stronger markets, this initiative makes sense and will help bring more jobs and opportunities for all parties," said Chairman Ron Villanueva.
The SBMA is the Philippine agency that administers and manages the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, including the Subic Bay Freeport. The Port of Subic Bay is strategically located along major shipping routes in the South China Sea, which makes it an ideal transshipment point to and from the Trans-Pacific, Japan, Korea, China, and the rest of Southeast Asia. It has a natural deep navigational channel with berthing facilities, and is easily accessible by land to and from Metro Manila as well as North and Central Luzon.
The VPA administers the Port of Virginia, which comprises six general cargo terminals. It is also strategic with deep shipping channels, zero air-draft restrictions, located in the US Mid-Atlantic with access to two-thirds of the US population within a day's drive or two-day double-stack rail to/from the Midwest, quick access to the open sea and friendly labor relations.
The initial relationship between the two ports was first initiated by Delegate Ron Villanueva and the City of Virginia Beach Economic Development Office in 2013 during a trade trip to help foster a new sister city relationship with Olongapo City, research new markets for business for Virginia and the Philippines, and examine critical logistics ports in Subic Bay and Clark Air Force Base. The trip was organized by Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Jr., Naiomi and Roy Estaris, Virginia Beach Economic Development Director, Warren Harris. Mayor Will Sessoms, Councilman Jim Wood, and other city officials have also visited the Philippines to help further our city and state positions a global trade partner.
Contact: Angela Chellew 757-955-3522