Movie Review: Black Butler


Tsuneishi Cebu execs reveal future plans

On the cusp of their 20-year anniversary, the joint venture between the Aboitiz family and Japanese shipbuilder Tsuneishi are setting new goals. Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu) Inc. (THICI) occupy the sprawling West Cebu Industrial Park-SEZ in the sleepy town of Balamban, Cebu, along the picturesque Tañon Strait. Since operations began in 1994, what used to be a single wharf is now an enormous manufacturing facility several times larger than Balamban. According to THICI president Hitoshi Kono, of its 13,000 employees in the Philippines, 70% are local hires. During a press briefing to mark THICI's 20 years in the country, PEZA director general Lilia de Lima revealed THICI is obligated to sell 30% of their products and services locally. This condition is part of THICI's long-term strategy for Asean, which includes building inter-island transport vessels. “Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, their economies are growing fast and they need smaller ships, so we're now starting” says managing director Kenji Kawano. But, Kawano adds, these plans are tentative and the only progress so far is a new shipyard in Indonesia. Today, THICI builds 21 ships a year—mostly bulk carriers—in three categories: Handymax, Kamsarmax, and the 180,000-ton Capesize that are designed for crossing the Cape of Good Hope. By the end of 2014, THICI would have launched 200 ships from their Cebu shipyard. Tsuneishi is also preparing to deliver new classes of smaller, more fuel-efficient ships in the 34,000 to 45,000-ton range. Another goal is increasing output from 30 to 35 ships per annum in the near future. Tsuneishi, or Tsuneishi Holdings Corporation, is an almost 100-year old Japanese maritime firm that ranks among the top 10 largest shipbuilders in the world—all of whom are in East Asia. Aside from Cebu, Tsuneishi maintains shipyards in Zhoushan City, China, and in Tadotsu and Fukuoka in Japan. True to its Japanese values, Tsuneishi Holdings actively promotes its various CSR programs (tree planting, recycling, etc.) and its community-driven employee amenities. One Japanese manager quoted in a Tsuneishi brochure recalled his favorite company perk in the Philippines. “I used to dive every two weeks and had about 300 dives in three years,” said veteran employee Nabuo Sagawa about his time working with THICI. Before his transfer to Japan, Sagawa took advantage of an uncommon bonus: “I was given the Revitalizing Leave and I traveled to Palau by myself and enjoyed the beautiful sea.”


PH fifth most vulnerable target in the Asia-Pacific

The Philippines ranks at the bottom of five Asia-Pacific countries targeted by advanced persistent threats, according to a study done by cybersecurity firm FireEye. FireEye's latest study is based on research conducted during the first six months of 2014. In Southeast Asia, one of the most vulnerable targets of information security are governments, who are targeted by attacks an estimated 13.5% times more often. “The truth is some governments do not care, and they don't want to care. So [to help other people], we have to make our products better” says FireEye communications director Dan Wire. The study also reveals two of the most common malware viruses threatening the Asean region include Mirage, which is known to copy legal documents related to political affairs in the region and the diabolical, hussarini that has been actively attacking important data in Thailand and the Philippines. In 2012, the Cybercrime Prevention Act or the Republic Act 10175 was made law and the Supreme Court of the Philippines declared most of its provisions constitutional in February this year. Asked about his suggestions to make the law more effective, Wire explained that there was no one law that can fix all problems. “Similarly,” Wire adds, “there's no one software that can fix all computer security problems.”


China Machinery Show full speed ahead

Chinese companies converge at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on August 14, bringing innovation to the Philippines. Now on its 10th year, the China Machinery and Electronic Products Exhibition will showcase agricultural equipment, electrical engineering products, food processing equipment, hardware, building materials, home appliances, machinery, auto parts and fittings, printing machines, and new energy and lighting products. “We are very impressed with what we saw in the Philippines. Our business to business program worked and many of our exhibitors were able to find distributors and dealers around the country, says Wang Guiqing, vice president of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCME). With more than 200 companies, the three day event's business to business matching will be participated by over 50 companies, hoping to find the right trade partners. “I am always fascinated on how much opportunities are available for both countries to work together and share business know-how,” says Wang. Wang says that this year's success means that CCME, with over 8,000 member companies, will be back next year.


Tuna Capital sets sights on Asean integration

More than 1,500 guests and envoys from six different countries are attending the 23rd Minbizcon, a three-day conference from September 1 to 3. Held at the KCC Convention Center in General Santos City, Minbizcon gathers local stakeholders, chambers of commerce, and foreign envoys to chart a radical new future for Mindanao and its nascent cities. The latest Minbizcon kicks off a “Mindanao Week.” Paving the way for the Tuna Congress 2014 from September 4 to 5 and the annual Tuna Festival. Minbizcon is organized by the Philippine Chambers of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) with the help of the Sarangani and General Santos business community. Major corporate sponsors like AboitizPower, Sagittarius Mines, Apex Mining, and energy provider Wärtsilä are also participating. Conference director and PCCI regional governor Rey Billena believes that now more than ever, the positive indicators are on the side of his hometown, General Santos City, a major tuna exporter poised to benefit from the coming Asean integration. “Southern Mindanao, which is our area, is being positioned as a gateway for food, agribusiness, and logistics,” Billena says. Billena adds that despite security issues, Mindanao's economic growth is higher than the national average and recently peaked between 2011 and 2012 at 8.2%. For Billena, the scourge of rolling blackouts and limited infrastructure means the most critical need at the moment is to provide Mindanao with 3,000 megawatts of electricity by 2015. This explains why San Miguel, Sarangani Energy Corporation, and FDC Utilities are pouring billions of pesos into power plants in the south, according to Billena. Aside from its bountiful natural resources and location, Billena includes tourism and manufacturing among Mindanao's emerging strengths. “While the Philippines grew by 4.8% last year Mindanao grew by 6.8% [GDP] and it's driven by manufacturing, construction, trade, and transportation,” Billena says. General Santos City is improving its port facilities to accommodate a new shipping route to Manado, Indonesia, and lobbying the national government for connecting flights to popular Asean destinations like Bali.

China Business–Philippines

Call for Entries to the MET Open 2014

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila announces an open call for the MET Open 2014, a curated benefit exhibition that will showcase artworks that best represent contemporary Filipino art. MET Open 2014 endeavours to discover new creations that take various forms extending our visual experience of the society we live in today. This exhibit is slated from September 15 till September 27, 2014.

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No Facebook? No Problem.

I'm now sitting on the steps of a bus in Minqin county, Gansu province, very far into northwest China. Except for the chatter of five gentlemen a dozen yards away and the singing of birds overhead, it is a quiet afternoon.

Such moments of solitude are rare for a journalist covering China under an official itinerary—which makes this brief isolation more precious.

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The Car of the Future

The average university student may be thinking about the next finals exam he is about to take. But while Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk was still at university, he was thinking about the future of humanity.

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When I worked for a big commodity trader in Hong Kong a few years ago, we had a young risk manager who used to sit in front of multiple screens all day long looking at multiple parabolics.

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This is What Php45 Million Looks Like

The City of Manila is enjoying a resurgence driven by two things. First, the 800-hectare Entertainment City rising on the western portion of Roxas Boulevard. Add a comment


Banker’s Club

In the good old days, being the general manager of an international bank’s overseas office really meant something.

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