Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chu Lai Economic Zone aims to attract $500m in investment

Ha Port in the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in the central province of Quang Nam. The zone is aiming to attract US$500 million in combined investment capital this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Hong Ky

QUANG NAM — The Chu Lai Open Economic Zone (EZ) aims to attract combined investment capital of US$500 million this year, up 26 per cent from the corresponding period in 2007, head of the zone management board Le Phuoc Thanh said.

"The goal is within reach as four investors to date have registered to pump investment in infrastructure construction and tourism sectors in the zone," Thanh said without revealing the total level of investment capital so far.

During the coming year, top priorities will be given to projects specialising in tourism, services,transport infrastructure such as road and wharves, and construction of industrial zones and free trade areas.

"In order to cope with competition from new coastal economic zones, Chu Lai need to find new measures to attract more strategic investors as well as continue to solve difficulties facing investors in land clearance. Resettling people in areas targeted for development will also be a top priority for us," Thanh said.

The Chu Lai EZ Management Board will restrict the licensing of investment projects by evaluating plans yet to be implemented and considering licence revocations. The board will also be more discriminatory when handing out licences and allocating land.

As many as 21 investment projects, together worth roughly $962.3 million, were registered in the zone last year. Six of the 14 licensed were involved in the tourism sector while the rest were concentrated on industry.

"There is great potential for developing tourism in the EZ because of its coastal location, beautiful surroundings and large land fund for construction," the board said.

Among these licensed projects, four are already operational.

The latest additions bring the total number of registered projects in the zone to 51, with capital totalling over $1.49 billion. Among these 44 have been granted licences amounting to $704 million. — VNS