The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), in Sta. Ana, Cagayan province, formally welcomed Hong Kong-based Asia Premier International Limited (APIL) as one of the 17 offshore fintech firm locators of CEZA.
On Friday, October 26, Secretary Raul L. Lambino, CEZA administrator and CEO, handed over to APIL Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alexander Fu Kong Sang his firm’s offshore virtual currency exchange (OVCE) provisional principal license during the APIL NiuEx Exchange launch, which was attended by hundreds of foreign and local blockchain and cryptocurrency leaders and enthusiasts, Philippine government officials, and other guests.
“Today, we formally welcoming Asia Premier International Limited as a member of the Crypto Valley of Asia, CEZA’s premier hub for the development of digital token exchanges and blockchain based technologies,” the CEZA head told the full-packed Grand Ballroom of Manila Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.
Among other APIL executives present include Chief Operating Officer (COO) Amando V. Jimenez, Vice Chairman Cao Shao Xiong, Fu Yanyl, Alvin Young, and their Niu Exchange partners Engle Ke. Jimenez, on behalf of APIL’s Board of Directors, thanked Lambino, whom he called “our mentor.”
The APIL COO related the journey of the Hong Kong-based fintech firm leading to becoming a CEZA locator. “It certainly was not easy getting a license to operate an Offshore Virtual Currency Exchange. We had to go through very rigorous pre-screening requirements and probity check. The voluminous pages we needed to submit – reached from floor to ceiling,” said Jimenez, apparently referring to CEZA’s stringent “probity and integrity check” to prevent and keep out crypto firms engaging in scams.
“But it was all worth it, as we were granted the license we needed. We are the 7th OVCE/Offshore Virtual Currency Exchange Principal license holder in the Philippines,” he said in obvious relief.
“We are now more than ready to connect with the CEZA platform through the CEZA Fintech Hub at the Bonifacio Global City (Taguig City,” Jimenez said.
Asia Premier, he pointed out, takes pride and honor to be a locator at the booming CSEZFP, saying the license from CEZA enables APIL to run its blockchain operations in the Philippines although his company will only be serving overseas markets.
Last month, Lambino said Filipinos will not be allowed to engage and participate in the cryptocurrency operations of the CEZA offshore fintech locators.
Jimenez said APIL’s OVCE license will “allow its partners in the global blockchain industry, NiuEx Exchange to undertake crypto to crypto transactions. We look forward to a bullish market and a successful partnership with all our participants.”
Lambino said that as of July this year, 70 fintech (financial technology) locators applied with CEZA to become pioneers of the country’s fintech industry that CEZA decided to build with approval from President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
CEZA manages the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP) which will provide a safe haven for the blockchain and cryptocurrency companies.