By: Othel V. Campos – Manila Standard | July 02, 2018

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority said it expects to sign within the year agreements with three foreign companies that will develop industrial parks within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport with combined potential investments of $5 billion.

Ceza administrator and chief executive Raul Lambino said the three groups would also bring other companies to locate in the area.

“This is what we envision―to host industries that bring value added enterprises to our manufacturing sector,” Lambino said over the weekend.

Lambino said the Shaoxing Group of China was negotiating for at least 300 hectares of land that could be converted into an industrial park.

He said the group was eager to invest about $3 billion to support an initial 24 textile companies relocating their operations from Shaoxing to Ceza in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

Shaoxing is one of the two major cities of the Zhejiang province in China. The other is Hangzhou where the Alibaba headquarters is located.

Thirty-five percent of the world’s textile consumption is obtained from Shaoxing.

“The group met me when I was in Hangzhou. They want to transfer some of their factories here, and they have selected Ceza as a possible area where they can invest in,” he said.

Lambino said a top official of the Shaoxing Group was very interested in Cagayan Freeport as the new site of the company.  “We’ve been in constant communication since May,” said Lambino, adding that the investor conducted ocular inspection of the industrial park site in Ceza thrice in June.

Meanwhile, the other two investors were willing to spend as much as $1 billion separately for a 50-hectare industrial park each.  Lambino said they planned to set up steel manufacturing facilities that would involve processes such as pelletizing and the manufacture of flat steel sheets.

Lambino said the the Korean and Japanese firms wanted to source magnetite sand reserve from Isabela province as raw materials to produce various steel products.

The Korean company already teamed up with mining firm JDVC Resources Corp. for the sourcing of magnetite sand. JDVC has an active mineral processing and sharing agreement from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau that covers parts of Isabela all the way to the Babuyan Channel.

The Japanese firm will also source its raw materials from JDVC.