Press Release
January 27, 2010


Sen. Edgardo J. Angara this week reiterated his commitment to the economic and industrial development of Aurora province and for the country as a whole through the legislation of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (APECO). Speaking at today's bi-cameral conference with members of the Congress, Angara emphasized the expedited enactment of the APECO into law, noting the urgency to spur development further in Central and Northern Luzon regions.

"Aurora is a strategic port in the eastern coast of the country, and its access to Manila and the other ports of Luzon make it an ideal starting point for the inflow of commerce. Let's not discount the fact that the region is blessed with very rich agri-mariculture, and the strong labor force ready to be tapped," emphasizes Angara, former Secretary of Agriculture.

The Ecozone, comprising 1,000 hectares of land in Casiguran town is a custom-designed seaport and airport driven economic center which will attract tourism, aquamarine projects and agro-industrial investments. Angara noted, "APECO will be the first eco-zone designed to be the country's Gateway to the Pacific and will be a prominent transshipment port--the first in the Philippines."

Among Aurora's major products are rice, coconut, wood and furniture, citrus, banana, sabutan (natural fiber), corn, coffee and root crops--many of which are highly in-demand commodities for their value and their by-products. Casiguran also has the widest mangrove coverage in the province, making it a very conducive area for research and future related investment ventures.

The APECO itself will be a popular tourist destination because of its very close proximity to tropical beaches, mountain ranges, waterfalls, water-sporting venues and a high potential for further infrastructure development and investment.

Angara aims at making it a model agro-marine center with a fish port, processing and canning provisions, reefer facilities and mariculture of high value marine products. "It will be an excellent center for research and development in agro-marine technology and vocational trades with the establishment of the 112-hectare campus of the Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT). It will be the first in the country to run on renewable energy and energy efficient technology," says Angara.

Plans for the APECO also include bringing in the outsourcing (BPO) industry and IT centers; the development of a high-end residential zone that is fully integrated in a well-equipped village, complete with all amenities and business centers; marina and waterfront promenades; flexible ports and logistics docks and further access roads by viaducts and tunnels.

To date a good number of potential investors have shown interest to locate in the economic zone, one of which is the TECO Group from Taiwan under the leadership of Mr. Ted Huang, who already visited the site of the zone. Other interested parties are companies from Singapore, South Korea and Spain.

Angara concluded, "The potential is there, the resources are there, and now the structures and legislation are there. In no time, Aurora province will be one of the leading hubs in Luzon for its strategic location; and our goals in steering the country's economy back to its glory days will begin to see its fruition."

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