CANBERRA 09 January 2019 — Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega met with Austal Vice President for Defense Davyd Thomas on 18 December 2018 to discuss updates on the expansion of operations of Austal Philippines.
Austal, an Australian designer and manufacturer of defense and commercial ships, has been building commercial vessels in its Balamban site in Cebu in the past six years. Austal Philippines, which includes shipbuilding and service centre, is manned by some 500 Filipinos serving as design engineers, construction managers and workers.
Mr. Thomas informed Ambassador De La Vega that they are on track and they are scheduled to complete the construction of the additional shed by February 2019.
The Balamban site of Austal currently manufactures vessels for export to Germany, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
“The Philippines has a very good partnership with Australia. Both are maritime nations and it is only natural that our countries cooperate in strengthening our maritime and shipbuilding capacities,” Ambassador De La Vega said.
As the fourth largest shipbuilding nation, the Ambassador said that the Philippines take pride in hosting international shipbuilders. Investor confidence in the Philippines remains high with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 42 percent in the first half of 2018, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
At the ASEAN-Australia Summit held in March 2018 in Sydney, Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton informed then Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez of Austal’s plans to expand its Cebu operations. Austal invested US$ 20 million to double the capacity of its Philippine facility.