BAGUIO CITY: The Abra local government has rekindled its interest in its designation as Special Economic Zone through a 1997 presidential proclamation.
Abra Provincial Administrator Genalyn Verzola in a recent meeting with the Economic Development sectoral committee (EconDev Secom) of the Regional Development Council – Cordillera Administrative Region presented the concept of the Abra SEZ, which seeks to increase trade and investments and create jobs.
The Abra SEZ, under Presidential Proclamation No. 126 by then President Joseph Estrada, covers a 34.68-hectare of semi-developed land in Barangay Gaddani, Tayum municipality.
The economic zone is 5.27 kilometers away from Bangued, the provincial capital. It is 87 kms. from the Salomague Port in Ilocos Sur, and 142 kms. away from the Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte.
Identified investment areas for exploration are hydropower generation and mineral processing and extraction.
According to Verzola, as culled from previous studies of the National Power Corporation, National Electrification Administration and other agencies, there are 17 potential sites for large and mini hydropower sources with a total capacity of 465 megawatts that could be tapped.
A landlocked province, Abra is rich in mineral resources such as gold, copper, silver, limestone, clay, sand and gravel, guano phosphate and rock phosphate.
Investment opportunities include light metal industry, garment and textile manufacturing, car assembly, tropical fruit processing, coffee processing, jewelry making, bamboo plyboard production, wood-based prefabricated construction materials manufacturing and natural dye
The local government foresees linkages with potential investors, in collaboration with the RDC.
Following the move of Abra, the EconDev Secom passed a resolution recognizing all the officially declared economic zones in the region.