The Japanese association of producers of ship machinery and equipment is extending help to the Philippines to strengthen the local shipbuilding and ship repair industry.

The Japanese assistance was formalized with the signing of memorandum of understanding (MOU) recently between the Japan Ship Machinery & Equipment Association (JSMEA) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

JSMEA Chairman Shinzo Yamada and MARINA Officer-in-Charge VAdm. Narciso Vingson Jr. signed the MOU at the opening of the Technical Conference organized by MARINA on the first day of the 6th PHILMARINE 2019 held at the SMX Convention Center last June 18-20, 2019.

“It’s a mutual cooperation between JSMEA and MARINA on exchange of information, best practices, capacity building of the (country’s) shipbuilding and ship repair (SBSR) industry,” explained MARINA Shipyard Regulation Service (SRS) Director Engr. Ramon Hernandez.

He added that MARINA is hopeful that the partnership between MARINA and Japan’s producers of ship machinery and equipment would grow beyond information sharing such as moving their production plants to the country.

“We are also encouraging them to set up office here, some of its members have already started operations here,” Engr. Hernandez told Seaway shortly after the conference.

“Ang problema kasi natin (One problem with our SBSR), almost 80% of ship’s components are imported,” he said, noting that one of MARINA’s thrusts is to set up ancillary business for the SBSR. “Iyon ang kailangan natin (That’s what we need) but were lacking in logistics.”

The MARINA official also disclosed possible benefits of MARINA’s partnership with JSMEA in the future. He projected that once JSMEA members setup their operations here they would provide jobs to Filipinos and pave the way for technology transfer eventually.

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