France explores Ilocos Norte’s agro-business and renewable energy potential

LAOAG CITY -— France Ambassador to the Philippines Thierry Mathou is in Laoag City today, exploring the province’s investment potential particularly in the fields of agribusiness and renewable energy.

Touching down at the Laoag International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, he immediately proceeded to the Ilocos Norte Capitol and paid a courtesy call on Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo Marcos Barba representing Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa Marcos who is reportedly attending President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s birthday today, March 28.

In an interview with Capitol beat reporters, Mathou said he is on familiarization tour to Ilocos Norte and in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

“I’m very interested to know more about the economic situation of the province especially about agro-business and renewable energy if we can develop programs and partnership on this sector,” he said, citing the Philippines and France had been working together to implement an agreement on climate change.

“France is very eager to support the Philippines to develop new energies like solar and wind energy,” he added.

After his courtesy visit at the provincial capitol, the France Ambassador also visited some of the province’s tourism landmarks before flying back to Manila tomorrow, March 29.

For his part, Vice Governor Barba said the province keeps on attracting investment groups which only means Ilocos Norte’s economy is doing great.

Recently, the ambassadors of Taiwan and the United States were also on familiarization tour to the province and discussed with the governor possible partnership to benefit both countries and their people.

As the capital of renewable energy, large firms such as the Lopez and Ayala group of companies backed by foreign investment partners maintain wind and solar plants in three Ilocos Norte towns such as in Bangui, Burgos and Pagudpud.

Ilocos Norte’s favorable climate and location also makes the province one of the country’s top producers of rice and other high value crops such as garlic, shallots, mangoes, dragon fruit and other processed food products. Leilanie Adriano/