Sunday, November 25, 2007

Chu Lai calls investment for seven mammoth projects

VietNamNet Bridge – The authority of Chu Lai Open Economic one in the central province of Quang Nam just brought out a list of seven huge projects worth a combined US$5.47bil waiting for investors, an official said.

The projects include building Chu Lai international airport, Ky Ha sea port and Chu Lai free trade zone, one to manufacture assemble observatory equipment, wastewater and exhaust fumes treatment facilities, a project for building a high-class seaside town, and the Tam Hai entertainment project among others.

The official said that the authority expected to call for ODA funds for the first three projects, while the others should be developed under the Build-Operate-Transfer form.

"The first three projects relate to infrastructure development and environment protection and need huge investment, so ODA funds will be more suitable," he said.

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung agreed to a proposal by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and Quang Nam Province to make a list of priority projects in Chu Lai to call for ODA funding. The source said the Government's decision was a booster for the economic zone.

"We welcome the decision as it allows us to call for big funds to develop infrastructure projects," he said.

He also added that the authority had met with many investors interested in these projects but it has not yet found the right developers.

"Chu Lai international airport is an example. Some investors have shown keen interest in developing the airport but we cannot find an investor with strong financial capacity to develop this billion-dollar project," he said.

The open economic zone was established in 2003 under a decision by the central Government. The zone covering 27,000 hectares in Nui Thanh District and Tam Ky Town is envisaged to become a financial, banking, commercial, tourism, telecoms and service center in central Vietnam.

In the beginning, many investors have registered to develop projects there but the authority has lately cancelled many inactive projects in an effort to speed up construction in the zone.

As of September, the zone had seen 58 projects licensed, with total pledged capital of US$937.3mil (compared with 139 projects worth around US$1.5bil before the axe fell on idle projects.

The Government has also urged speedier construction of the important economic zone. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in a document signed in November last year demanded that development be accelerated so that Chu Lai and Dung Quat zones would become the nucleus for growth of the central region.

However, after four years in operation, up to this September only 23 of the licensed projects have started operations.