Foreign tourists arrive on Phu Quoc Island in southern Vietnam. Photo: Quang Minh Nhat
A call for investment in Vietnam’s largest island has attracted enthusiastic feedback from Singaporean companies, news website Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon (Saigon Times) Online reported.
Many companies have taken an interest in Phu Quoc Island after Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh called for Singapore to support Vietnam in developing Phu Quoc into Southeast Asia’s center for tourism, science and technology.
Sembcorp. Sunray Woodcraft Construction Pte Ltd and Centurion Properties Pte Ltd. all have shown interest.
Vinh said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong agreed to cooperate and implement Vietnam's most favorable investment policies for Phu Quoc, an island district in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang.
Nguyen Thanh Nghi, deputy chief of Kien Giang's Party Unit and the province's vice mayor, said Vietnam is drafting a plan to develop Phu Quoc as a special economic zone where investors will enjoy the country’s most favorable policies for the first time.
These policies will include land use, corporate tax, income tax and import tax benefits.
Nghi said Singaporean companies are welcome to invest in eco-tourism sites, urban areas and hi-tech parks on 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres) of the island.
Le Van Thi, Kien Giang's mayor, said Singaporean companies have carefully examined infrastructure development in Phu Quoc, including highways, airport, power and water supply projects.
Several companies are scheduled to visit Phu Quoc on May 9 to further study the available opportunities; a roundtable dialogue on Phu Quoc investment will be held in July, he said.
According to a decision issued by Prime Minister Dung in late 2013, investors in Phu Quoc will enjoy the favorable policies currently applied to those in the industrial and export processing zones.
Jason Lien, project manager at Centurion Properties Pte Ltd, told Vietnam News Agency that Phu Quoc is a good place to invest in resorts.
Chia Tech Keng, a representative of business consultant Arcanum Associates, said his company will encourage early investment of Singaporean companies in Phu Quoc.
Phu Quoc consists of 593 square kilometers (equal to the size of Singapore) with a population of 103,000 people. The government has granted visa exemptions for foreigners visiting the island for up to 30 days.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Singapore is Vietnam’s third largest foreign development investor with 1,226 projects worth a total of US$30.3 billion.
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