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When he assumed office in 2017, Secretary Raul Lambino launched the “Crypto Valley in Asia.” The future growth of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, he said, would be driven by new technology and innovative ideas, of which the cryptocurrency was the leading product.

The choices he made as Administrator and CEO of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), which is in charge of the development and management of the Cagayan Freeport, have led the Zone on a high-growth path.

This week, it is hitting a new high, giving its cryptocurrency project a rocket boost.

“We have to believe in the power of innovative ideas, Lambino said. “Cryptocurrency is one such.”

According to a report by the New York Times, Tesla disclosed in its annual report on Monday that it had “purchased $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency, as part of an initiative begun last month to invest in alternative assets like digital currencies and gold bullion.”

Tesla, according to the report, said it expected to begin accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment “in the near future.”

          Lambino welcomed this development by saying CEZA is on the right track in putting its faith in technology as the main driver of the development of the Cagayan Freeport.

          Lambino cited the spectacular spikes in the new all-time high record of USD 47,513.57 posted by the world’s most traded cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, on Monday following Tesla’s announcement.

          This is the reason why, he said, CEZA is pursuing the construction and development of modern infrastructure facilities at the Cagayan Freeport to cope with Fintech (financial technology) investments that are coming to CEZA despite the pandemic that has affected the global economy.

          To date, there are about 25 Fintech companies registered as principal licensees in CEZA that are soon expected to begin their offshore operations in the Cagayan Freeport in the midst of a global rise in the price of cryptocurrencies traded in the world market.

          These are Ultra Precise Investment Ltd., Rare Earth Asia Technologies Corp., Formosa Financial Holdings, Ltd., Tanzer Holdings, Ltd., Asia Premier International Limited, Orient Express Global Limited, Dragon Empire Developments Limited, Tiger Wheel Limited, IPE Global Pte. Ltd., CR8TIV Solutions Management Limited, Sino-Phil Economic Zone Agency Development and Management Corp.,

          AMG Fintech Pte. Ltd., Hong Kong Yuen Shing Hong Limited, First Bullion Holdings Inc., 6X Tech Pte. Ltd., Harseq Inc. Limited, Golden Millenial Quickpay Inc. Limited, Fafa Internet Blockchain (China) Co. Ltd., Wangwang Quickpay Foundation Ltd., Apha Capital Asia Limited, Escudar Co. Ltd., Buyglobal Pte. Ltd, and 365 Global Technology Inc.

          Bitcoin has compounded its value to several record highs since its 2017 record smashing performances that were followed by enormous sell-off in the crypto market. It has risen to about 67 percent of its value to date and now accounts for around 70 percent of the entire cryptocurrency market.

          Lambino said CEZA is currently putting up a three-storey commercial building and another three-storey corporate center that have a combined total of 12,000 square meters business offices for lease.

          Construction of other facilities like condominiums and business offices are ongoing, among them the four-hectare Consolidated Luzon Business Solutions Inc. mixed-use units, the 21-hectare Alpha Palauig complex and the 300-hectare Foremost Cagayan Leisure and Resorts Corp. proposed international airport.

          CEZA, he said, would immediately start the development of the 15-hectare proposed Global City once the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of the town of Santa Ana is approved by the provincial government of Cagayan for implementation.

          The government agency is also finalizing the engineering plans for the initial development of the 203-hectare Mapurao township in partnership with CEZA’s first major locator, First Cagayan Leisure and Resorts Corp. and other locators in the Freeport.

          Port Irene is also undergoing retrofitting of its ageing piers and four units of new warehouses with a combined total area of 30,000 sqm are now nearing completion. The loose cargo port will soon undergo massive face-lifting and the construction of a mini container yard.

          San Vincente Port will also open its new extended wharf to inter-island ships and RORO operations and fishermen using the facility as its home port.


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