By Elijah Felice Rosales (BusinessMirror) -May 28, 2018

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) projects the generation of at least P2 billion worth of new investments if financial technology (fintech) firms, mostly from East Asia, decide to locate in the Northern Luzon trade area.

In a news release on Monday, Ceza Administrator and CEO Raul L. Lambino said he is keen on converting the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport into a financial solutions and blockchain technology hub. This was after 21 offshore fintech firms in the business of cryptocurrency signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the Ceza.

The fintech firms could bring up to P2 billion worth of investments in the economic zone over the next two years, Lambino said, and transform the place into the “Silicon Valley of Asia.”

“We have a perfect setting for some of the young Filipino generation’s best minds and the world’s leading cryptocurrency companies to engage in the development of the next wave of technological innovations,” he said.

The economic zone is perfect for firms engaged in blockchain technology, Lambino added, because of its strategic location. Apart from this, the economic zone’s developing infrastructure could serve as a gateway for the firms to expand operations to Central Luzon and even Metro Manila.

The offshore fintech firms are planning to operate virtual-currency exchanges, cryptomining and blockchain production and initial coin offerings, among others. Lambino said the investors committed $1 million for the development of physical infrastructure in the economic zone, aside from the application fees, license fees, probity checks and
integration fees.

The firms that signed MOUs with the Ceza are Xin Peng Group, Changwei International Co. Ltd., State Trust Union Capital Holdings, Ultra Precise Investments Ltd., Hachiman Technology, MX Exchange Ventures, Hybrid Block, IPE Global Pte. Ltd., Superieur Technology Pte. Ltd., Coin Bundle, Northern Orient Resources Inc., Asia Premier International Ltd., Hong Kong Yuen Shing Hong Ltd., Mobile Pole Position Pte. Ltd., Madison Blockchain Strategy Investment Co. Ltd., Asia Pacific Blockchain Association, Pacificnet Strategic Investments Ltd., Super Angels Ventures Ltd., AXN Holdings Ltd., Paradigm Technologies Unlimited Solutions Corp. and Stepwyze Llc.

Lambino said the Ceza could use the momentum to introduce an environment “that encourages financial innovation and inclusion, while ensuring adequate protection for the best interests of the country, the financial system, consumers and investors.”