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SECRETARY LAMBINO EYES MORE FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS IN CAGAYAN FREEPORT | Cagayan Economic Zone Authority

SECRETARY LAMBINO EYES MORE FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS IN CAGAYAN FREEPORT

SECRETARY LAMBINO EYES MORE FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS IN CAGAYAN FREEPORT

By: EUCLID JAMON

Investment Promotion Officer


Cagayan Freeport —Secretary Raul Lambino, Administrator and CEO of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) encourages foreign investors to take advantage of the bright business climate here following his recent visit with some prospective investors— to show the vibrant business opportunities offered in the area.

Welcoming them at the new CEZA Corporate Center in Santa Ana, Cagayan was Mr. Leonardo Cruz, Head Technical Assistant and OIC for Cagayan Offices, along with CEZA personnel based in the province. Also present during the visit was CEZA Director Dominador Dayag

“The [COVID-19] pandemic has affected the entire world. Nakita natin kung ano ‘yung hitsura ng mga bansa, including the Philippines na naghirap because of the pandemic. We are [still] in the period of recovery from the pandemic, we are not yet recovered, but we are [gradually] recovering from its adverse effects," he said.

“The world has suffered due to the pandemic. It disrupted economic activity across the globe, and as a result, attracting foreign investments, particularly direct investment becomes hard. Why? Because every country is busy trying to revive their economy, putting all their resources into it,” the Secretary said adding that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is also affecting the global economy.

In mid-March 2020, then-president Rodrigo Roa Duterte had to put the entire country on lockdown to curb the coronavirus from spreading which shuttered up to 75% of economic activity. Many Filipinos have lost their jobs, forced to close their businesses, while the government has distributed food and financial assistance to families that have been severely affected by the lockdown.

However, the Philippines can still bounce back and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on its economy by promoting the entry of foreign investments, according to Secretary Lambino.

He said, with the support of foreign investors in Cagayan Freeport, CEZA will be able to generate more revenues and raise its contributions to the national economy. This will also provide more jobs for Filipinos which would make their life comfortable and of higher quality.      

During the visit, Cruz presented the CEZA Master Development Plan to prospective investors, including the generated revenues of the agency during the pre-pandemic period, and the impact of the pandemic on CEZA revenues since the pandemic hit two years ago.

He also presented some multi-billion worth of infrastructure projects inside the zone that are now nearing completion. He said these new developments are expected to make the Cagayan Freeport a major transshipment hub, agro-industry growth zone, and tourist destination in Northern Luzon.

While in Cagayan, Secretary Lambino also inspected the 8,000-sqm CEZA Commercial Center located in the town’s business district which is now ready for occupancy, as well as the expanded causeway and wharf of Port San Vicente. 

He thanked all the officers and personnel of CEZA for their efforts and cooperation that contributed greatly to achieving the development and transformations they envisioned for CEZA. (With inputs from LIZ LAGNITON- CEZA Writer and MICHELLE AGABIN- Acting Head of the Investment Promotion Division)