|The Sao Beach is one of many attractions on Phu Quoc Island. A new passenger port is expected to boost tourism to the island. — VNS Photo Thai Ha
KIEN GIANG (VNS) — The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kien Giang has chosen the investor for the development of the build-operate-transfer (BOT) section of the Phu Quoc international passenger port.
The Phu Quoc Investment and Development Joint Stock Company has been chosen to develop the section, which is expected to cost VND493 billion (US$22.8 million).
The provincial People's Committee said negotiations on the project's specific terms and content will begin this month.
According to the project approved by the province, the port will have a total investment of VND1.64 trillion ($76 million), and the remaining VND1.15 trillion, or 70 per cent, will be funded by the State and the local budget.
The port will be built in Duong Dong, the main town in Viet Nam's largest and southernmost island, and cover 180ha, with 176.5ha being the marine area.
It is scheduled to be completed in 2017, and will be able to accommodate cruise ships with gross tonnage of up to 225,000 tonnes.
Moving the site
Regarding another major project to be carried out in Phu Quoc, the Ministry of Construction said it would move the construction site of a casino to a new location near the Vinpearl Resort and the Giang Dien tourism site in Ganh Dau Commune.
In the initial plan, the casino was going to be built in the Da Chong hamlet in Bai Thom Commune in the northeast of the island.
The proposed new location covers an area of 37 ha and is situated in a high-class eco-tourism site in the north western part of the island.
In the document submitted to the Prime Minister, the ministry said the new location was "appropriate and well-located for attracting investment." It also said the proposal had received support from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
In mid-January this year, the Prime Minister had asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to cooperate with the provincial People's Committee and related authorities to collect the opinions of ministries and related agencies on the casino project.
According to a draft decree submitted to the Prime Minister by the Ministry of Finance last August, Vietnamese residents over 21 years of age, who have adequate financial ability and behave properly, would be allowed to enter casinos.
At a conference to gather opinions for a plan to build the Phu Quoc economic zone last year, the People's Committee said the casino would be constructed on an area of 30,000 square meters with 200 to 300 gambling tables and 2,000 gaming machines, a convention centre and a five-star hotel with 3,000 rooms. Investors, who wish to invest in the project, must have a capital of at least US$4 billion.
Phu Quoc is the largest island of Viet Nam with a total area of 589 square kilometres, which is about the same size as Singapore. It currently has big infrastructure projects under construction and has completed other projects, such as the Phu Quoc International Airport and the An Thoi International Seaport. Those investing in Phu Quoc will get the same preferential treatment as investors in industrial zones, manufacturing zones and economic zones. — VNS