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Phu Quoc lures $1.72 billion in investment   2008-08-24 - VNS

People on holiday at Phu Quoc Island, which has attracted in $1.72 billion in investment capital.

The southern province of Kien Giang has licensed 21 investment projects with a total capital of more than VND27.35 trillion (US$1.72 billion) on Phu Quoc Island so far, according to the chairman of the People’s Committee of Phu Quoc, Pham Vu Hong.

Of the 21 projects, two are fully invested in by foreigners and two are joint ventures.

Most of the investment projects are involved in the real estate and tourism sectors. These include with the construction of hotels and resorts along Phu Quoc’s western and eastern seaside covering over 1,000ha.

The operating projects are now turning a profit, making a significant contribution to the island’s yearly average growth rate of 16 per cent during the past three years.

Furthermore, the provincial People’s Committee has also approved Phu Quoc Island to call investment into another 154 tourism projects with a total expected registered investment capital of about $889.7 million, covering an area of 5,647ha.

Speaking at the meeting on developing Phu Quoc Island last Friday, chairman of the People’s Committee of Kien Giang Province, Bui Ngoc Suong said, "The provincial authorities will create the best conditions such as simplifying licensing procedures and setting up a Phu Quoc Investment and Development Management Board to help investors.

"Specifically, work on infrastructure projects, such as Duong To international airport, the An Thoi seaport and major roads, are also being sped up so as to transform Phu Quoc Island into a high-class hub of ecological tourism in the near future."

Viet Nam’s Phu Quoc Island has been ranked as one of the five most beautiful "hidden beaches" in the world by

Phu Quoc welcomed more than 34,400 international travellers worldwide during the first eight months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 19.05 per cent. There have also been approximately 94,000 domestic visitors over the same period, according to Phu Quoc Department of Trade and Tourism.

The director of Phu Quoc Centre for Trade and Tourism Promotion, Tran Quoc Khanh, said that the island district planned to lure 350,000-500,000 travellers a year by 2010.

Phu Quoc Island plans to earn about VND265.7 billion ($16.1 million) in tourism services, a 41 per cent rise compared to 2006. The average growth rate in the last three years has been 24.87 per cent.

Suong said that the development of "non-smoke industry" contributed remarkably to boosting Phu Quoc district’s economy growth.

Combined with the success of tourism, Phu Quoc will attach special importance to developing industry, light industry as well as produce and processing aquatic products, Suong said.

A mere two-hour flight from almost any Southeast Asian metropolis in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore or Cambodia, Phu Quoc, the largest island district nationwide, has become Viet Nam’s foreign gateway with a great potential for development in both the economy and tourism. The danger is that by focusing so much on making money, some of what made Phu Quoc so special in the first place might be lost.

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