MANILA, Philippines — China conglomerate Shanghai Jucheng Supply Management Group has committed to invest about $100 million to put up a resort-casino at the sprawling Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) territory.
CEZA, headquartered in Santa Ana, Luzon’s northernmost town in Cagayan province, features a landscape of stunning untouched white sand beaches, diving spots, game-fishing haven, tropical forest getaways and beautiful sunsets.
“This is one of the few unspoiled spots in the country that will cater to the sun worshipper, the nature lover, and the adventurer,” said CEZA administrator and CEO Raul Lambino.
Lambino signed a memorandum of understanding in Shanghai last week with the Chinese firm, represented by Jucheng Group founding chairman Xue Chenbiao.
Lambino said he hopes things would start moving forward this month once CEZA and the Jucheng Group finalize the details of the planned investment.
Jucheng plans to transform the area into a seaside integrated resort with casino operations, and theme and water parks that would approximate tourism-driven complexes in China and major tourist attractions of the world such as Jeju Island in Korea.
Lambino said the Chinese group also expressed interest in managing CEZA’s seaports and airport, building townships and theme parks, and engaging in the trade and exchange of financial technology solutions using the blockchain technology.
CEZA wants to position itself as the “Crypto Valley in Asia” – the hub for startups engaged in fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Jucheng Group also counts among its varied operations the production of high-performance lithium batteries for electric vehicles as well as real estate development, global entertainment, sustainable energy, electronics manufacturing and logistics.
It has expanded its operations in the American market with its recent acquisition of the Filipino-owned Island Pacific chain of supermarkets. Additionally, it has interests in Asia, the Philippines being its newest partner in varied business ventures.
The proposed integrated resort and property development would include a Duty Free Mall for branded products at discounted prices, a chain of the Island Pacific supermarket for imported and local merchandise, and a five-star hotel.
In a statement, Lambino said the Jucheng Group is also interested in the production of steel and lithium batteries that will make use of local natural resources found in Cagayan and provide local employment and business opportunities.
“They want to add more value to our natural resources in a more sustainable way while also protecting our environment,” added Lambino.