Experts urge incentives for Phu Quoc
The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Local experts and scientists during a meeting on Monday urged the Government to provide special incentives and mechanism to turn Phu Quoc Island off Kien Giang Province into a special administrative-economic zone.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh told a conference on the island on Monday that the Government has assigned related agencies to build up a project turning Phu Quoc into a special economic zone to promote natural advantages of the island, according the government website chinhphu.vn. The conference was organized by the Southwest Region Steering Committee and Kien Giang Province’s authorities.
In 2004, the Prime Minister approved a master plan for development of Phu Quoc Island until 2020.
Phu Quoc has made many socioeconomic achievements over the past nine years with average gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 22% a year. Tax collection has increased by over 36% each year while the number of tourists has increased by three times and the poor household ratio declined from 14% to 1.86% in 2012.
However, the achievements have yet to match strong potentials of the island. Therefore, the project will be mapped out to enhance development of Phu Quoc, making the island a center of tourism, finance, technology, trade and entertainment at the regional and international standard.
Under the project being prepared, the island should have a self-motivated and self-control authority model with special incentives in investment and development of infrastructure, economy, tourism and education.
Economic expert Tran Du Lich said that the island should have a special mechanism on land and property ownership to ensure transparency in land use and management. Besides, local authorities should not allot land to investors while the land use right auction mechanism should be applied.
Le Xuan Ba, head of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said that Phu Quoc with strong tourism potential should have more policies to attract vacationers and diversify travel products.
Nguyen Van Thanh, head of the Development Strategy Institute, suggested that Phu Quoc special zone should be allowed casino service to lure more international visitors to the island.
Deputy PM Ninh agreed at such suggestions, adding that the project needs to make clear distinctive products and services of Phu Quoc to raise its competitiveness.
The project must have polices to attract investment, especially social investment, Ninh said.