By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
A big Chinese textile manufacturing group is slated to sign an agreement with the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) for its planned investment in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport.
CEZA Administrator Raul Lambino announced this during a speech at the Boao Forum Manila Conference where 300 Chinese officials some of whom from China state-owned enterprises participated in the recently concluded two-day event.
“I will be joining President Duterte in the second Belt and Road Initiative Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing where CEZA would be signing a series of memorandum of understanding (MOUs) with major Chinese companies for various investments in the Zone, among them a mega textile manufacturing venture,” said Lambino.
CEZA Deputy Administrator Raymundo T. Roquero said around five MOUs led by the textile/garment project would be signed by Lambino on Friday, April 26, in Beijing. The other MOUs will be mostly financial technology ventures in CEZA.
The CEZA investment deals are just among the more than $10 billion-worth of trade and investment deals that would be signed on the sideline of Duterte’s visit. World leaders from 37 countries are expected to attend the Belt and Road Initiative Forum.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that more than 15 investment and trade agreements are going to be forged during the forum. He said these economic deals are expected to generate around 20,000 new jobs.
“We are vetting groups and their plans and possible agreements on investments and trade,” said Lopez. Lopez did not specify the companies involved in these economic deals, but said that most the deals are covered by memorandum of agreements and understanding.
He estimated that the more than 15 agreements, which cover trade and investment deals on food, energy, power, infrastructure, technology, services, will be signed between China and the Philippines corporations during the trip.
“As part of President Duterte’s ‘Tapang at Malasakit’ battlecry for nation-building, the DTI is continuously seeking investment opportunities from our country partners to bring home jobs and business opportunities for more Filipinos,” Lopez said.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a key policy of President Xi Jinping and envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond with massive infrastructure spending.