Two years ago, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications completed the initial reform of the port system. This new system brought Taiwan the opportunities for cross-strait direct shipping and helped Taiwan to extend its high competitiveness in geographic location, professional services, and high efficiency, enabling Taiwan to develop into a pivotal center for logistics to China and the Asia Pacific region. The reformed system addressed the issues of conflicts between supervision and operations and the lack of flexibility under the old legislation and administrative system and enabled separation of administration and operation, which gives birth to the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) and Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC).
At the initial stage, legislation for the new organization was not yet completed. Lacking the legal basis for recruitment, MPB, an organization planned with a scale of 647 employees, was run by the 269 employees from the original four Harbor Bureaus. Under limited manpower, office space, as well as software and hardware resources, these forerunners brought MPB through the transition seamlessly.
On January 1st 2013, administration of lighthouses and navigation aid facilities (formerly under the Maritime Affairs Department of the Directorate General of Customs, Ministry of Finance), along with the staff, were officially annexed into the MPB's Maritime Safety Division in coordination with the Executive Yuan Organizational Reform Project. The amended legislation expanded MPB into the scale of 703 employees. The new personnel structure and expanded operations developed MPB into a more complete and efficient organization and launched MPB into a new era of navigation aid facility management.
Over the past two years, MPB continues to develop new talent, and under joint efforts of the old and new employees, MPB has made substantial achievements. On March 1st 2012, MPB took over the operations of commercial port dues collection and utilization to facilitate the development of infrastructure and businesses in international ports. On June 17th 2012, the night sails of commercial passenger lines between Kinmen's Shuitou terminal and Xiamen's Dongdu terminal (China) were officially launched. On June 17th 2013, Port of Kaohsiung was officially listed as a delivery port for the London Metal Exchange (LME). These significant developments pushed the Nation to become a pivotal center for international warehousing and logistics.
Facing domestic and international changes in the business environment and competition the future, MPB will continue to develop a good business environment for the shipping industry, push forward international cooperation ventures and international exchange, and get involved in activities of international organizations to expand the vision. MPB also will review the maritime and port related laws to address international treaties and the needs in industrial, academic and administrative practices, and set up the Free Trade Zone Professional Manager Office to simplify the administrative procedures for the investing businesses in order to increase operational performance and effectively implement the Nation's major policies. In continuous efforts, MPB develops port infrastructure to improve the business environment for the maritime industries in Taiwan and upgrade the competitiveness of the Nation's ports in the international market.
"Traditions and Future"- MPB possesses a wide range of experience and know-how built up by the former and current members of four Harbor Bureaus over the years and gained from continuous learning. In my inauguration talk, I said to the members of MPB that we are onboard of the same ship, sailing on the sea, like the boat in the Life of Pi, that we must work together through the uncertainties and competitions in the market. Today, this ship has been growing and sailing safely on the sea. In the future, MPB will continue to develop from the perspectives of customer service and value creation in three areas - fortifying the energy in human and organizational resources, striving for excellence in maritime and port administration and services, and facilitating the development of maritime industries. We will seize the opportunities for continuous development, lead the maritime industries into a bright future, and facilitate the development of a Maritime Nation in Taiwan.
The Director General