Kien Giang proposes putting Phu Quoc special economic zone plan on hold

Kien Giang Province has written to the Prime Minister proposing the suspension of a major plan to establish a special administrative and economic zone on Phu Quoc Island off the province until the National Assembly (NA) passes the law on special administrative and economic zones.

The Mekong Delta province had conducted procedures to put the plan into action after it was approved by the Prime Minister in August last year, the provincial People’s Committee said in the proposal.

However, the NA has yet to set a specific date to pass a draft law on special administrative and economic zones, setting up multiple obstacles for the province’s adoption of the plan due to the lack of a legal foundation, procedural order, zoning content and appraising board.

Phu Quoc had executed a plan in line with the Prime Minister’s Decision 178, dated October 5, 2004, on approving the master plan to develop Phu Quoc Island until 2010, with a vision toward 2020. According to the province, this application is no longer appropriate for the growth of the island district.

The provincial government cited the Law on Zoning, noting that district-level zoning would have to be integrated with that of the province, but many socioeconomic targets of Phu Quoc have outpaced figures stipulated in Decision 178.

However, waiting for the province’s zoning plan to be worked out and approved will create difficulties for Phu Quoc in mapping out further development goals, calling for investors and executing investment projects.

Instead, the provincial government is seeking approval from the Government to set up an economic zone on the island, with a zoning fund sourced from the local budget and other legal sources.

The province also proposed the Government allow it to select, appoint and oversee foreign consultants for the new plan and to pay them independently.

Earlier, the provincial People’s Committee proposed the master plan to set up a special economic zone on Phu Quoc Island to the Government in late 2012, aiming to develop the island into one of the nation’s key special economic zones.


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