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Labuan, Palawan to modernise maritime trade
Published on: Wednesday, June 05, 2024
By: Bernama
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Labuan, Palawan to modernise maritime trade
Participants during the visit by Pedco of Palawan and Labuan stakeholders.
LABUAN: The Labuan Chamber of Commerce (LCC) and the Palawan Economic Development Council (Pedco) have announced a major collaborative effort to enhance transhipment activities between Labuan and Palawan.

LCC chairman Daniel Doughty said this initiative was a key topic during a working visit by Pedco delegates, led by its president and Alternate Country director Alex Paglumotan, along with leaders of the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Business Council (BEBC) and LCC.

“A key focus of the agenda was a technical planning meeting at Labuan Liberty Port, operated by Megah Port Management. 

“The meeting aimed to gather data to develop structured strategic plans for modernising transhipment activities,” he said to Bernama.

Doughty said LCC’s strategic vision includes replacing traditional wooden vessels, known as kumpit, with steel-hull containerised carriers, improving both efficiency and safety in maritime logistics.

LCC also presented a comprehensive logistics and maritime strategy for Palawan and the MIMAROPA region. 

MIMAROPA  is an acronym of provinces in the region, namely Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan.

Doughty said this strategy leverages Labuan’s strengths in transhipment, port efficiency and its emerging status as a blockchain hub to transform the transhipment industry and enhance regional trade dynamics.

He highlighted the historical ties between Labuan and Palawan, noting their origins dating back to Sir James Brooke, the first Governor of Labuan in 1848. 

He also noted the recent unveiling of Labuan as the world’s first Shariah-compliant blockchain hub by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, which presents a unique opportunity for innovation, particularly in the transhipment industry.

“The data points and outcomes of our strategic meeting will be presented to the next Transhipment Task Force meeting created by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Federal Territories), Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

“We must transcend our comfort zones, embrace technology, and be bold, decisive, strategic, and competent in our pursuit of excellence. 

Meanwhile, Paglumotan expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, adding that the strategic proposals put forth by the LCC, particularly the shift to steel-hull containerised carriers and the integration of blockchain technology, represent a forward-thinking approach that would undoubtedly enhance the efficiency and reliability of Malaysia’s transhipment activities.

He said this collaborative effort underscores LCC and Pedco-BEBC’s commitment to pioneering advancements in maritime trade between both regions and leveraging technology to strengthen economic and strategic maritime significance.

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