The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority is updating its 20-year old master development plan for the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport amid a strong demand from foreign investors looking for larger tracts of land.
“We are anticipating a lot of economic activity. That’s why I have called for a review of the master development plan,” said Ceza administrator and chief executive officer Raul Lambino.
He said land expansion and development would be a logical next step for Ceza, after initiating the proposed creation of the Greater Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport.
All 22 municipalities in Cagayan’s two congressional districts would be included in the proposed expanded Freeport.
Lambino said he hoped to secure support for the expanded special economic zone from the province’s local and congressional leaders, adding the inclusion of Lallo, among others, would correct a mistake that was overlooked in the past.
He said Ceza was set to inaugurate late this year the maiden flight between Macau and Lallo, Cagayan through the Cagayan North International Airport, with a brand new runway that could accommodate Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s.
The airport, a joint venture between Ceza and Cagayan Land Property Development Corp., is a 45-minute drive to Santa Ana town where Port Irene is expected to undergo dredging and other upgrades to transform it into a major international cargo seaport and cruise ship terminal.
“With this modernized airport facility, the interconnection between the Freeport and the biggest ports and markets of East Asia and the South Pacific is now possible,” Lambino said.
Meanwhile, new projects within the Freeport include the development of the 10,000-hectare Fuga Island off Aparri town, strategically located at the crossroads of international shipping routes to lucrative markets of China, Hong Kong, Taipei and Japan.
The wooded island with flat and undulating terrain is envisioned to be a private sanctuary and a free trade zone like Hong Kong, a gaming and leisure hub like Macau, investment enclaves as Bermuda and vacation getaways like the Bahamas, and the world-famous Maldives, Bora Bora, Waikiki and Bali
“Fuga island would easily lure tourists to its pristine coastline and powdery white sand beaches and excellent dive sites,” said Lambino, who is also looking at its neighboring island of Barit, a 500-hectare enclave, as site for a cruise ship destination.