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Hong Kong firm joins Cagayan fintech hub

Hong Kong-based Asia Premier International Ltd. established a facility in Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport in Sta. Ana, Cagayan which is emerging as a hub for financial technology companies.

Asia Premier is the seventh fintech company to register with Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, according to chief operating officer Amando Jimenez.

“It certainly was not easy getting a license to operate an offshore virtual currency exchange. We had to go through very rigorous pre-screening requirements and probity check. The voluminous pages we needed to submit reached from floor to ceiling,” said Jimenez, referring to Ceza’s stringent “probity and integrity check” to prevent scams from happening within the economic zone.

“We are now more than ready to connect with the Ceza platform thru the Ceza fintech hub at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said Asia Premier was honored to be a registered locator at the booming CSEZFP. The license from Ceza enables Asia Premier to run its blockchain operations in the Philippines to serve overseas markets.

Jimenez said the company’s offshore virtual currency exchange license would “allow our partners in the global blockchain industry and NiuEx Exchange, our platform, to undertake crypto to crypto transactions. We look forward to a bullish market and a successful partnership with all our participants.”

Ceza administrator and chief executive Raul Lambino handed on Oct. 26 to Asia Premier the offshore virtual currency exchange provisional principal license.

Some 70 fintech companies have applied with Ceza to become pioneers in the country’s fintech industry as of July 2018.

“Of that number, we have issued 17 provisional principal licenses to companies that would spearhead the disruption of financial processes. Asia Premier International Limited is one of them,” Lambino said.

Ceza manages the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport which provides a safe haven for the blockchain and cryptocurrency companies.

“The potential of these financial technologies to enhance transfer and verification processes, and how trust in the financial industry is being shifted to the digital space, has captured the attention of governments, financial institutions and regulators,” Lambino said.

Lambino revealed plans for the creation of a code of conduct for the crypto company locators or the so-called self-regulatory organizations at Ceza, saying it is necessary part of a broader strategy to improve the effectiveness of regulation and market strategy.

“SROs, being comprised of members engaged in the industry, are able to provide key insights, critical research and updates on national and international business standards that Ceza will utilize to effectively and efficiently regulate the industries and licensees under its jurisdiction,” he said.

Ceza deputy administrator Raymundo Roquero said the  ecozone would continue its plan to establish a blockchain university inside the economic zone, which would be important to train blockchain programmers, coders and designers, as demand for these jobs were expected to grow in the future.

Topics: Asia Premier International Ltd. , Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport , Cagayan financial technology hub
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