Phú Quốc is one of Southeast Asia’s best-kept secrets, according to British tabloid The Telegraph. Photo courtesy of Kiên Giang Province’s Department of Tourism
HCM CITY — The National Assembly Standing Committee has approved the upgrade of Phú Quốc in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kiên Giang into the country’s first island city in March next year.
Phú Quốc City will have a population of more than 177,500 living in two wards, Dương Đông and An Thới, comprising seven communes, Hàm Ninh, Dương Tơ, Gành Dấu, Bãi Thơm, Cửa Dương, Cửa Cạn, and Thổ Châu.
Dương Đông Town will become Dương Đông Ward but with its area and population unchanged.
An Thới Ward will be created by merging Hòn Thơm Commune and An Thới Town.
The city will have its own People’s Court and Supreme People’s Court.
Kiên Giang Province has submitted a master plan for Phú Quốc until 2040 to the Government for approval.
It focuses on developing a comprehensive infrastructure system linked with the country and Mekong Delta’s infrastructure, and promoting sustainable development, culture, environmental protection, security, and harmonisation of economic growth with the conservation of historical and cultural relics.
It seeks to develop the Phú Quốc Economic Zone into a hub for trade, tourism, politics, culture, and science and technology.
It will prioritise development of coastal and riverine areas and public green spaces to improve the quality of life for locals.
Phú Quốc is set to become one of the country’s three special economic administrative zones along with Vân Đồn in the northern province of Quảng Ninh and Bắc Vân Phong in the south-central province of Khánh Hòa.
Many incentives will be offered to investors to help the island achieve its full potential.
Phú Quốc will have the best mechanisms and incentives for investors in the entire country, provincial authorities said.
Its corporate and personal income taxes are the lowest in the country, land rents are waived for the first four years and cut by 50 per cent for the next nine.
Phú Quốc is one of Southeast Asia’s best-kept secrets, according to British tabloid The Telegraph.
An island almost the same size as Singapore at some 590,000sq.km, it is famous for its white-sand beaches and resorts, mostly along its palm-lined south-western coast.
The Phú Quốc National Park, with mountains, dense tropical jungle, hiking trails, and wildlife, covers more than half the island.
The island is close to most of Southeast Asia and part of international freight routes, has an international airport, and travellers who fly directly to the island can enjoy a 30-day visa-free stay.
Several international airlines operate commercial and charter flights to Phú Quốc, which received more than five million visitors last year, up 30 per cent from 2018, including 541,600 foreigners.
The National Assembly Standing Committee also approved the merger of HCM City’s eastern districts of 2, 9 and Thủ Đức into one administrative unit to create an innovation hub tentatively called Thủ Đức City.
It will have 34 wards, an area of 212 square kilometres and a population of over one million. — VNS