About 200 local and foreign investors have shown interest in Ho Chi Minh City's Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2, an official said on Monday.
"The city is considering choosing investors who have good management capacities so that projects at Thu Thiem will operate smoothly," said Trang Bao Son, deputy head of the Investment and Construction Authority for Thu Thiem New Urban Area.
"At first, we will give priority to multinational companies and foreign-owned corporations which have experience in developing urban areas."
He said the city had approved the applications of three investors to carry out projects in the township so far.
Work on Thu Thiem's US$2 billion worth of infrastructure including electricity, water, and road projects and wastewater treatment and drainage systems, is scheduled to start at the end of this year, Son said, adding that all power lines and water pipes will be put underground.
The main infrastructure projects will take three years to complete, according to Son.
He also said the city has just granted approval to US-based firm Sasaki to implement a supplemental study for exploring underground space in the urban area for the purpose of building parking lots and a subway system.
The Thu Thiem New Urban Area, which covers 657 hectares on the Thu Thiem Peninsula in District 2, was designed to become a dynamic and diverse urban center and accommodate 130,000 people, city planners have said.
Son said the city government had just initiated a plan to earmark nearly 150 hectares of land along Saigon River for growing mangrove trees.
These trees would help create a natural ecological area beside the modern buildings of the township, he said.
As planned, Thu Thiem's high-profile projects, including an international exhibition and convention center, a multi-purpose skyscraper, an entertainment and sports complex, an international financial center, and a central square, are expected to be completed by 2020.