Canberra, Australia – Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega met today with Austal Vice President for Defense Davyd Thomas to discuss updates on the expansion of operations of Austal Philippines.
Austal Vice President Davyd Thomas (right) briefs Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega on the operations of Austal Philippines, a design and build shipyard located in Balamban, Cebu.
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 the Ambassador that they are on track and they are scheduled to complete the construction of the additional shed in February 2019.
The Balamban site of Austal currently manufactures vessels for export to Germany, Republic of Korea, Spain, Taiwan and the UK.
Ambassador De La Vega said, “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.” 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 this year in Sydney, Austal CEO David Singleton informed then Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter S. Cayetano and Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon Lopez of Austal’s plans to expand its Cebu operations. Austal invested USD20 million to double the capacity of its Philippine facility.