Davao port development still under discussion

Davao City in 2007 Photo: Pascal De Backer/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0 Davao City in 2007 Photo: Pascal De Backer/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0
Industry Database

Development of a port in Davao City in the Philippines has been discussed in light of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to the city in late October.

Voice of America reported that China is exploring ways to build new infrastructure in the city as a link in its Belt and Road Initiative for expanding Chinese trade in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.

The radio network reported that Mr Wang said that Sino-Philippine economic co-operation can “expand to new areas, including projects of the Belt and Road Initiative”.

“A rehab of Davao’s deepwater but otherwise small, ramshackle port would increase business for the 1.6m-person city that anchors a resource-rich but largely impoverished southern island,” Voice of America claimed.

“Chinese shippers could use Davao as an import-export base and call there along the way to countries further south.”

According to Christian de Guzman, vice president and senior credit officer with Moody’s in Singapore, Davao port development could be connected to the city’s island of Mindanao previously being a recipient of Chinese investments related to the extraction of mineral resources (basically mining).

Meanwhile, Jay Batongbacal, an international maritime affairs professor at the University of the Philippines, suggested that imports as exports could be sent through Davao.

“Although it’s a major port compared to Manila, it’s less busy,” he said.

Stuart Orr, Business and Law professor at Deakin University in Australia, said: “The southern port development plan in Davao is interesting because it’s part of the Philippine plans to encourage more Chinese investment, but it comes at a time when the Philippines is quite uncomfortable with the military activities and build-up in the Spratly Islands immediately off [the coast].”

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