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VietNamNews

Stalled projects rife in southern province

Update: August, 23/2012 - 10:59

BA RIA-VUNG TAU — The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau is struggling to speed up tardy foreign-invested projects, the investors of some of which cannot even be traced.

People's Committee chairman Phan Hoa Binh said there have been no replies to many official letters ordering investors to speed up progress.

In some cases, they cannot be contacted by phone or summoned, Nhan Dan (The People) reports.

One project that has been long delayed is the Vung Tau International Marvellous Park, a 100 per cent foreign-invested project by the US-Viet Nam Good Choice Company Ltd.

The province's largest project by investment – US$1.3 billion – was expected to completely change the investment scene when finished.

But since 2008, when it was licensed, there has been no progress and the investors have disappeared.

In a similar situation is the 500-bed $300-million IMI Vung Tau Hospital.

After a grand groundbreaking ceremony, the project ground to a halt.

The Department of Investment and Planning has recommended that the People's Committee should cancel the licences issued for these projects.

A department official said it took two or three years to issue a licence and it needed the same time to cancel it.

Many investors, including those behind the IMI Vung Tau Hospital, seek more time to start saying they need to raise funds, a not unreasonable request considering the economic meltdown.

But authorities are unable to meet many of them for discussions. One more problem for them is that correspondence with people based in foreign countries is expensive.

The department said it cost more than VND10 million ($500) to send two dispatches to the USA-Viet Nam Good Choice Company in the US.

It plans to seek help from foreign diplomatic agencies to resolve this problem.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau, situated in the Key Southern Economic Region, has been among the most successful provinces in attracting FDI. But it is also one of the provinces with the lowest FDI disbursement. In the first seven months of this year investors only disbursed $7.2 billion, or 26.6 per cent of registered capital. — VNS

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