Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung » Prime Minister's Opinion » Government to adopt mechanism for Phu Quoc Island

(Prime Minister's Opinion) - On behalf of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, deputy PM Vu Van Ninh has signed a decision to set up a team to study policies and mechanisms intended for the development of Kien Giang Province’s Phu Quoc Island.

Nguyen Phong Quang, deputy head of the Southwest Steering Board, announced the news in an interview with Tuoi Tre about this issue yesterday.

Phu Quoc Island seen from above Photo: Tuoi Tre

Phu Quoc Island seen from above Photo: Tuoi Tre

Phu Quoc is considered a pearl island, or “a Singapore of Vietnam”. In recent years the Government issued a decision on a master plan for the island’s development to make it a regional and international tourist hub, Quang said.

However, the island has yet to be developed in a way corresponding with its potential and advantages due to problems that should be resolved by new policies intended for the island, he added.

Therefore, the Government has set up a working team to outline specific development mechanisms for Phu Quoc.

One of the issues to be resolved is to establish a system of land leasing rates that give incentives to investors. This move is necessary to boost mobilizing private capital for infrastructure projects, which cannot be solely funded by the State budget.

Within this year, the government will focus on how to improve such fields as infrastructure development, financial mechanisms, capital mobilization, organizational structures, and administrative apparatuses.

While drafting new policies for the island, the team will collect opinions from experts, investors, authorities and the public about the above fields and submit them to the Prime Minister for consideration.

Another issue to improve is a model of administration for Phu Quoc to facilitate and accelerate its social and economic development. Currently, Phu Quoc is a district of Kien Giang Province, so it has to ask for instructions from the provincial authorities whenever it wants to do something important, Quang said.

In addition, in order to make Phu Quoc an attractive tourist destination, Quang will propose that the Politburo consider a resolution that is intended for developing the island until 2020. Such a resolution will affirm the nationa’s political determination to make the island a true “pearl” in the future.

Regarding a proposal from a group of experts who have proposed that Phu Quoc be developed into an administrative and economic special zone under the central government’s management, Quang said, “I personally support that idea, since if this were done the island will have opportunities to develop as rapidly as it wants.”

Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc lies 62 nautical miles (115 km) from Kien Giang Province’s Rach Gia Town and nearly 290 nautical miles (540 km) from Laem Chabang, Thailand.

Tourism plays an important part of the economy, with the beaches starring as the main attraction. Phu Quoc is served by Phu Quoc Airport with air links to Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport and Rach Gia Airport.

Plans are in progress to upgrade the existing airport into an international airport, which is scheduled to be completed in early December 2012.