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Philippines vying to be COSCO regional hub

Philippines vying to be COSCO regional hub

Manila: The Philippines is courting China Ocean Shipping Co. (COSCO) anew to invest in the Philippines and make the country its logistics hub in the region, reports the Philippine Star. The project, first made public in May last year, has been delayed as a result of the cancellation of the controversial broadband deal between the Philippine government and Chinese firm ZTE Corporation last year. If successful, COSCO's investment may set the stage for the Philippines to exercise considerable maritime power in the region.

"I will invite them for another visit," Ambassador Francis Chua, special envoy on China trade and investments told reporters yesterday. "They will be using the Philippines as a hub for shipment to Europe and America, so all cargo from Asia will come to the Philippines, using the Philippines as a staging point to go to US, North America, Europe and vice versa."

COSCO is said to be looking at locating either in Sangley Point or in Subic Bay Freeport Zone beside Korean investor Hanjin. Chua surmised that COSCO may be partial to investing in Subic because "Cavite is too congested." However, he added that investing in Cavite is still viable as the area is good for reclamation.

COSCO's initial plans include the development of a 250-hectare land in Sangley Point where they would put up a "marine school to train maritime sailors. There will be a repairing ships and building ships."  [14/05/08]