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Philippine Tuna Mission To Create Joint Ventures In Palau Fails

Executives of tuna fishing firms that went to Palau recently failed to forge joint venture agreements with their counterparts there, an industry official admitted.

Still, Bayani B. Fredeluces, executive director of the Socsksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries Inc. (SFFAII), expressed optimism that local tuna fishing firms can soon operate in Palau’s tuna-rich waters.

"So far, there’s no significant development but the negotiations to forge joint ventures with Palau tuna fishing players are continuing," he said.

Representatives of 10 local fishing firms met with their counterparts in Koror last March 5-6, in reciprocation of the visit of Palauan tuna executives the previous month.

Local tuna fishing executives earlier noted that Palau’s hefty tax on fish exports is a major obstacle to their bid to operate in the island-state’s waters.

Palau slaps an export tax of $0.35 per kilo on tuna and tuna-like species caught in its waters.

Local tuna firms also proposed setting up an alternative transshipment point in Palau’s southern territory to cut on operation costs once formal joint venture deals are achieved.

Reciprocal

SFFAII and the Palau Fishing Association, which is represented by its president Emiliano Kazuma, have signed a memorandum of understanding whereby the latter agreed to bring the issues raised by the Filipinos to its government.

Palau firms that have signified intention to forge joint ventures with Philippine counterparts include Palau International United Development Corp., International United Corp., Kuniyoshi Fishing Co., and G & A Fishing Co.

Philippine firms that have expressed reciprocal interest were TSP Marine Industries, Citra Mina Seafoods Group, NH Agro Industrial Corp., Amadeo Fishing Corp., Rugela Fishing Industry, San Lorenzo Ruiz Fishing Industry, Trinity Homes Industrial Development Corp., DFC Tuna Ventures, RD Fishing Industry, Inc., Ramona Fishing, Inc., Far East Seafood, Inc., and Gladery Fishing, Inc.