Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Disney-style $1.3bn Park set for approval in Vietnam

VNECONOMY updated: 31/12/2007

Vietnam’s first Disneyland-style theme park in the coastal town of Vung Tau is on the verge of getting an official investment certificate. Phan Huu Thang, director general of the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said the $1.3 billion project was being scrutinised by Vietnamese authorities.

“We hope that the common support of line governmental agencies will result in an investment certificate for the project before the year’s end. Therefore, it will be a big complement to Vietnam’s foreign direct investment record breaker across 2007,” said Thang.

He said that Good Choice Imports-Exports & Investment Inc - one of the affiliates of leading US real estate and investment firm Platinum Dragon Empire Incorporated (PDE) last month submitted an investment application for the Vung Tau Wonderful World Theme Park project, which will cover nearly 200 hectares in the Vung Tau-Bau Trung and be modelled on Disneyland.

The giant project will also house the 88-storey Landmark Tower, a “Wonder of the World” site, where spectators will find replicas of the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, the Egyptian Pyramids as well an international conference centre, shopping malls, internationally-standard hotels and restaurants, 3D cinemas and open-air stages.

The park will be able to accommodate 100,000 visitors around the clock. The developers plan to operate several components beyond 2010.

Besides the park, Good Choice is also interested in a project to build an aquarium complex in Nghinh Phong Cape in Vung Tau coastal town. The multi-storey Vung Tau Aquarium will be modelled on one in Monterey, northern California.

PDE’s chairman and CEO William Lee, a Vietnamese American, said he and other American investors wanted to boost tourism development in Vung Tau and transform this coastal city into a world-class tourist destination.

“Despite being a popular tourist destination in the south, tourist and recreational facilities in Vung Tau are just a few. The local government’s spirit is to welcome new potential investors to come and develop tourism related projects,” a local investment and planning official said.

Most recently, the US’ Gillmann Group, Fidelity Ventures and their partners were interested in investing $5 billion in a large-scale recreational complex in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province’s Ho Tram district. Meanwhile, US-based Winvest Investment LLC is working on its $300 million five-star Saigon Atlantis hotel and casino complex in the province.