With the opening of the shipyard operations of a global defense prime contractor in the country, Filipino workers are now gaining a reputation as world-class shipbuilders. President Benigno S. Aquino III, who graced the grand opening of Austal Philippines' shipyard facility at the West Cebu Industrial Park in Barangay Arpili, Balamban, Cebu, said the Philippines is now the fourth largest shipbuilding country in the world.
Austal's shipyard operations in Balamban recently completed its first ship, a highly advanced world-class trimaran design for the European wind farm market. Its next ship, which is well underway, is a car and passenger ferry which will be the largest ferry ever built in the Philippines. Another three wind farm vessels will follow.
Austal is a world leader in the design and construction of customized aluminum defense and commercial vessels. Its product range includes platforms for the United States Navy, patrol boats, multi-role vessels, passenger and vehicle-passenger ferries, theater support vessels, luxury private live-aboards, and sophisticated communications, radar, and command and control systems. Austal has delivered more than 220 vessels to customers around the world. Its primary facilities are in Henderson, Western Australia; Mobile, Alamaba, U.S.A.; and now in Balamban, Cebu, Philippines. It currently employs 250 Filipino workers along with a staff of some 50 Australians in Cebu.
In 2011, the country's ship exports reached $638 million, 57.9 percent higher from in the previous year. Around 45,000 Filipinos are employed by shipbuilding companies.
We congratulate the government of the Republic of the Philippines headed by H.E. President Benigno S. Aquino III, the Department of Transportation and Communications headed by Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya, Australian Embassy in Manila Minister Counselor and Senior Trade Commissioner Anthony Weymouth, Austal Chief Financial Officer Greg Jason, and Austal Philippines Shipyard Operations President and General Manager Joey Turano in making the Philippines the fourth largest shipbuilding country in the world. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!