The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) in the Philippines says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Jucheng Supply Chain Management (Group) Co Ltd for the development of a new casino resort in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone.
The mainland China-based firm is to invest at least US$100 million to build the gaming venue, according to a Monday statement from CEZA quoted by local media.
The Jucheng group’s website indicates it has diverse business interests, including in trading, logistics and manufacturing. It is not clear from the group’s corporate website if it has experience in tourism development.
CEZA’s chief executive Raul Lambino said in July that at least four foreign companies had respectively expressed intention to develop casino resorts at the Cagayan Special Economic Zone. He did not identify the companies at the time.
The project by Jucheng group was publicised despite an announced nationwide pause on issuing further casino licences in the Philippines, said to have been effective from January.
According to Mr Lambino, CEZA’s investment promotion agency would be the entity issuing licences for casino operations within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone. CEZA’s enabling law allows the state-owned firm directly to grant a casino licence, reported the Philippine Inquirer newspaper.
Under the agreement announced by CEZA, Jucheng group’s project will have a theme and water park element, as well as shops.
“Over the next few years, the Chinese group will pour in investments estimated at US$100 million to develop this rarely explored corner off the Northern Pacific Ocean that is part of the sprawling [CEZA] territory,” the authority said in its Monday statement, quoted by the media outlet.
Mr Lambino was quoted as saying that he hoped to see some progress once the two sides finalise the details of the planned investment.
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