CEZA Primed as Logistics Hub

(Business Insight) July 25,2017

The new head of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) aims to transform the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport into a new economic growth center, a tourist destination and a major transshipment and logistics hub in Northern Luzon.

Raul Lambino, newly-designated administrator and chief executive officer of CEZA, said in a statement he will prioritize the repair of Port Irene, including the dredging of its heavily silted seabed, the construction of additional wharves to expand its capacity as well the modernization of the North Cagayan International Airport in Lal-lo town.

These initiatives , he said, will  make the 54, 000-hectares plus SEZ and Freeport “a veritable vehicle for industrial, commercial and financial ventures and a favored investment and recreational center in Southeast Asia.”

Lambino also said he would push for the development of a railway alignment from Tuguegarao to the town of Lal-lo and to Santa Ana for both commuter and cargo services linking up with the rest of Luzon.

He noted the need to upgrade the power supply and Internet connectivity to boost the Freeport’s medium-term development plan.

The Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, covering the entire towns of Santa Ana, including the island of Fuga, Barit and Mabbag in Appari, Cagayan, sit between the West Coast of North America and the Far East and Southeast Asia, and is just one hour away by plane from Hong Kong, Taipei and Macau and three hours from Tokyo.

Its strategic location at the northern tip of Luzon’s eastern seaboard, along major international shipping routes, could easily make the Freeport a major transshipment and logistics point for trade in the Asia-Pacific Rim, Lambino said.

Lambino said he would push for long term investments that would create more employment opportunities in and around the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, in manufacturing, business processing management, agri-business, hotel and tourism, industrial parks, retirement village and townships for locators and workers, among others.

He would also seek the assistance of the national government to increase power supply connected with the national grid, expand the different connector roads leading to various tourists’ destinations, and tap the private sector in the development of the Freeport’s water supply and sanitation.