Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Vietnam's Chu Lai Economic Zone to rethink licensing

My comments: I wrote a couple of months ago after a trip there to investigate what was actually happening that to me, it all appeared as smoke and mirrors......Chu Lai's bus trip from hell!

VietNamNet Bridge – Chu Lai Open Economic Zone (EZ) Management Board has decided to tighten investment licencing as a lot of domestic and foreign investors have registered investment projects but have not implemented the projects after many years.

According to the Chu Lai EZ, in the first seven months of 2007, 17 investment projects in the EZ were registered with the total capital of nearly $470mil.

To date, 58 registered investment projects totalling $937.3mil have been registered so far, of which, 47 projects have been licenced capitalised at $560mil. However, only 23 projects have become operational, and 10 others are in the construction period.

In the last four years, since the Chu Lai EZ accepted the first investment projects, only 1/3 of the registered projects have been implemented, totalling $378mil. In 2006, only one project, the floating glass plant, was kicked off.

In fact, many registered projects have been left unimplemented. These include the project of a foreign investor on a bank and hotel, capitalised at several hundred million dollars in An Phu new urban area in Chu Lai EZ. Three years after the project was licenced, the land plot allocated to the project’s investor remains uncultivated and has become the training ground for a Quang Nam driver training college. Meanwhile, local farmers had to leave several tens of hectares of land to give land to the project and they still cannot find jobs.

The Chu Lai EZ Management Board has decided to tighten the licencing of investment projects. It will check the licenced projects which have not been implemented to consider revoking the licences of the projects. Moreover, it will also keep cautious when deciding to licence projects and allocate land.

The Chu Lai EZ Management Board said that on August 10, the Quang Nam People’s Committee decided to take back the 499,470 sq m land plot in Tam Tien commune, Nui Thanh district to reserve for tourism projects.

The land plot was allocated to investors after local authorities cleared 122 sections of rice fields, forestry land and cemeteries, which were once used by Tam Tien commune residents.

Investors have found out that there are great potentials for developing tourism in Chu Lai EZ as the EZ is located on the edge of sea, has beautiful landscape and a big land fund for construction. Among the 58 registered projects, there are three eco-tourism projects, expected to cover an area of 100 ha. The three projects, capitalised at more than $100mil, have got investment licences.