Ilocos Norte ready to welcome Chinese delegation from Shandong

LAOAG CITY — Officials and residents of Ilocos Norte are now gearing up for the official visit of some 30 delegates composed of Chinese leaders and businessmen from Shandong, China, a sister province of Ilocos Norte since 2002.

Set to arrive in Laoag City on April 2-3, the Chinese agricultural delegation is expected to discuss possible business partnerships with Ilocos Norte leaders and industry players on agriculture, tourism and other possible investment opportunities here.

According to Edwin Cariño, head of the Provincial Sustainable Development Center under the Ilocos Norte government, the department is currently preparing “business matching” presentation for the Chinese delegation.

“The upcoming visit of Shandong delegation hopes to create mutual business opportunities,” Cariño added.

Shandong province is known as the largest agricultural exporter in China. Its economic development focuses on large enterprises with major brands. It ranks first among Chinese provinces in production of cotton and wheat, as well as gold and diamonds.

“Possibly, if agreements will be affirmative and the businesses are matched, it will increase job creation and help Ilocos Norte economy grow and prosper should we be given the chance to sell our products and service to the Chinese market,” said Cariño.

Filipino Chinese businessmen in the province are also excited for this new development.

As part of the itinerary, the Shandong delegates will have a familiarization tour to a mango plantation in Vintar, Ilocos Norte, a Chinese hybrid rice production production site in San Nicolas town, a visit at the Mariano Marcos State University’s Food Innovation Center, Research Laboratory, PhilRice, Paoay Church and at the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel.

“We must commit as a province to long term, integrated master planning. Today, our provincial economy is in transition, shifting mightily from the agricultural and rural landscape of decades past, to service-directed, diversifying and urbanizing economy,” said Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa Marcos in her latest State of the Province Address.