Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Phú Quốc Island in the Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang is pouring more investment in tourism and transport infrastructure to become a driving force for development in the region.
Mai Văn Huỳnh, chairman of Phú Quốc District People’s Committee, said that in recent years it had mobilised sources to finance transport projects via road, air and sea that would connect to major urban centres in the country.
The laying of a 110kV underground cable for the Hà Tiên - Phú Quốc power supply project has been completed, while construction on the Dương Đông reservoir, which supplies water at a capacity of 21,000 cubic metres per day, is underway.
A project to build a waste treatment plant for the island is near completion.
New urban areas and concentrated residential area projects are also being built on the island.
Phú Quốc has attracted 279 projects covering a total area of 10,754 ha, according to the management board of Phú Quốc Economic Zone.
Of the figure, 249 projects, covering a total area of over 9,000 hectares, have been granted investment certificates with total registered capital of VNĐ270.5 trillion (US$11.6 billion).
As many as 36 projects have been put into operation with total investment of over VNĐ14.75 trillion ($633.37 million).
In addition, 35 projects are under construction with total investment of VNĐ95.731 trillion ($4.11 billion).
The island has attracted a number of tourism projects, including Vinpearl complex, a safari park, and the world’s longest cable car, which connects An Thới Town with Hòn Thơm Island.
According to Phú Quốc District People’s Committee, the district is expected to have 500 hotels and other accommodations with more than 15,000 rooms by the end of this year.
Last year, Phú Quốc received 2 million visitors, and more than 2.3 million tourists are expected this year, of which foreign tourists account for 22 per cent.
A list of projects calling for investment by 2020 include foreign direct investment (FDI) and investment in the form of public-private partnerships (PPP).
In addition, Kiên Giang Province is calling for investment in a number of urgent projects in Phú Quốc, including a project to build a 500-bed resort-style hospital covering 10 ha at Bãi Trường complex in Dương Tơ Commune.
The Bãi Thơm Eco-tourism Area which covers more than 42 ha in Bãi Thơm Commune will be able to serve about 1,200-1,600 people a day.
A waste treatment plant with a capacity of 150 tonnes per day covering a 5.25-ha area in Dương Tơ Commune is also being built.
In addition, Phú Quốc has also completed the first phase of its smart city project.
Under the project, the island will offer free public wifi, surveillance cameras, emergency response application for tourists, and environmental monitoring equipment, as well as e-government.
The district has set up the Phú Quốc Smart City Operations Centre with an information service team that can promptly handle incidents.
Special economic zone
Phạm Vũ Hồng, chairman of Kiên Giang Province People’s Committee, said Phú Quốc had met necessary conditions to become a special administrative economic zone.
The potential to become a Special Administrative Economic Zone would add value for the tourism industry, he said.
Huỳnh, secretary of the Phú Quốc Island District’s Party Committee, said that Phú Quốc would continue to issue incentives to facilitate the local economy and livelihoods.
Phú Quốc was once a sleepy area of around 100,000 people. In recent years, however, the 567sq.m island has become a tourist mecca for thousands of visitors from around the world.
It is expected to become one of three Special Administrative Economic Zones, besides Vân Đồn in Quảng Ninh and Bắc Vân Phong in Khánh Hoà, which will offer preferential incentives for development.
Located 46km from the mainland, the island can be reached by air from HCM City within one hour and from Hà Nội within two hours. — VNS