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Holcim Philippines prepares for greater competition in the ASEAN region

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World Cement,

Holcim Philippines is prepared for the integration of markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region by 2015, which will result in an increase in competition for the cement manufacturer.

Eduardo Sahagun, Chief Executive Officer and President of Holcim Philippines, told local press that the company expects tariffs on cement imports to remain at zero, particularly in light of the approaching ASEAN integration (tariffs on cement imports were eradicated by the government in 2008). Sahagun further commented that imports are not guaranteed to be cheaper than domestically produced cement. Additional expenses, such as logistics costs, could potentially result in imports being more expensive for international cement producers.

The company stated that it is equipped to compete if imports were to enter to Philippine market. In order to stay competitive, Holcim will strengthen ties with customers, provide effective customer solutions, manage costs and improve efficiency.

Cement demand is anticipated to remain sustained in the medium term; however, the company is considering other options to supply the market in the long term. With the regional integration, it is planning to import additional cement and clinker from its holdings in countries such as Vietnam, which currently has excess supply and lower power costs.

Edited from various sources by Rosalie Starling

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