|A view of Dong Tay Boulevard accoss the Thu Thiem new urban area in HCM City. The city's authorities are calling for investment in dozens of projects in efforts to develop the area into a major international financial-commercial centre by 2020. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhut
by Van Dat
HCM CITY (VNS)— City authorities are calling for investment in dozens of projects in HCM City's Thu Thiem new urban area, which is expected to be a major international financial-commercial centre by 2020.
Construction on the main infrastructure of the new urban area, which covers 657 ha in District 2, began on April 26 by the Thu Thiem Investment and Construction Authority.
City authorities called for investors in more than 10 large-scale projects at a conference held in HCM City yesterday, attended by 200 representatives from local and foreign companies.
The city said it would offer open-door policies and simplified administrative procedures.
Several local and international investors have expressed interest in six of the projects.
Four of the projects were introduced to investors for the first time, including an international trade-finance-banking centre located in the heart of Thu Thiem, a 39-ha multi-purpose sports recreation complex, and a 84-ha Northern Residential Area in the 16-ha Thu Thiem Software Park.
In addition, a 7.3-ha hotel and resort project will be built in the southern region of the urban area.
Major infrastructure projects include four main roads, a central lake, artificial canals, and a pedestrian bridge and central square, according to Thu Thiem Investment and Construction Authority.
Trang Bao Son, deputy head of the Authority, said the four main roads would be built by the Viet Nam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment Company–Dai Quang Minh consortium under the build-transfer and "land in exchange for infrastructure" format.
In addition to the projects that are seeking new investors, Son noted that the city had approved nine additional projects invested in by companies from Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Viet Nam.
According to the Authority, 98.2 per cent of land has been cleared on the peninsula, and scale-planning has been approved.
Construction of two schools has been completed, and resident relocation will take place by the end of the year.
During the conference, Son said many local and international organisations have expressed interest in the area since the master plan was completed in 2005.
The Thu Thiem New Urban Area will have four major functional areas, including a central residential area, a northern residential area, a southern residential area, multi-functional areas along the East-West Highway, and a green southwestern area.
Initially, the city will invest VND22 trillion (US$1.04 billion) in developing the four main roads. Some VND10 trillion will be used for building the four main roads.
During the conference, Le Hoang Chau, head of the HCM City Real Estate Association, said the city would try to attract more investors to turn Thu Thiem Peninsula into an area like the well-developed Phu My Hung in District 7.
"The new urban area is well-situated next to the Sai Gon River. It can be compared with Pudong of Shanghai and Shenzhen in China," he said, adding that investment in the area would be advantageous, especially because of the downturn in the real-estate market elsewhere in the city.
Chau suggested the city speed up completing the main infrastructure of the new urban area.
He said that investors in Phu My Hung built Nguyen Van Linh Boulevard and only began to collect profits 13 years later.
He also urged the city to further simplify administration procedures to attract more investors.
Currently, the Thu Thiem Investment and Construction Authority is the only agency that works with investors.
"The economic situation of Viet Nam is still not that good and we have to compete with Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar in attracting foreign direct investment," Chau said.
He also asked the city to reduce land prices to more than US$1,000 per square metre to attract more investors. —VNS