BOI grooms Ilocos Norte as next prime gateway and commercial hub in Northern Luzon

The Board of Investments (BOI) said it has entered into an agreement with the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) to strongly position the province as a “prime gateway” to East Asia and a “major” commercial hub in Northern Philippines.

With the newly forged strategic partnership, the BOI said the prime gateway to East Asia and a major commercial hub in Northern Philippines will be linking North and Central Luzon to Asian countries such as Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.

In a news statement issued on Wednesday, the investment promotion agency said the memorandum of agreement (MOA) will “align the efforts of both offices on creating an enabling business-friendly environment that will generate and fast-track the realization of highly desirable investments in Ilocos Norte, particularly in the agriculture, tourism, renewables, infrastructure, and services sectors.”

In his remarks, Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing head Ceferino S. Rodolfo pointed out that numerous investment opportunities are bound to happen in Ilocos Norte because of its “irreplaceable geographical location, investment readiness, forward-looking leaders, and its established offerings for the renewable energy [RE] sector.”

The RE sector, Rodolfo noted, could woo more investors as there is an “increasing importance” being placed on carbon neutrality and on shifting to renewables to address climate change.

For instance, the BOI said, the largest wind power project in the country and in Southeast Asia, which is the Burgos Wind Farm, is located in the province.

Moreover, the attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), said the PGIN officially welcomed BuhaWind Energy’s Offshore Wind Farm investments in the province.

According to the BOI, these strengths could also position Ilocos Norte as a top destination for high-value manufacturing and agriculture, powered by RE.

For his part, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc asserted that the province will sustain its investment “readiness” and will make sure that its development goals, investment policies, and proactive programs will be “well-aligned” with the national government.

In fact, he said, the province’s Local Investment and Incentive Code (LIIC) was crafted to attract highly desirable projects and responsible businesses, waiving its share on real property taxes as an incentive.

“We look forward to working with you. On behalf of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, taos puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa BOI sa suporta,” he said, adding “the MOA will deepen and enhance the endeavors to generate more strategic investments and high-quality jobs for Ilocanos and Ilocanas.”

BOI Executive Director Bobby G. Fondevilla said the agreement would benefit both parties in terms of productivity, but “ultimately” the country as a whole, specifically on furthering economic development and growth through increased strategic investments.

These investments, Fondevilla said, “Will fill in the gaps in the industries’ value chains and generate quality employment” for the Filipino people.

“We will give our full assistance in realizing Ilocos Norte’s plan on placing itself as a prime gateway to East Asia and a major commercial hub in Northern Philippines,” Fondevilla added.


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