The launch of the 110kV Ha Tien-Phu Quoc undersea cable project is an important premise for fostering socio-economic development of the southern province of Kien Giang in the time to come, said Trade and Industry Minister Vu Huy Hoang.

The undersea cable project has created a turning point for province to become nation’s key special economic zone and a high-quality green tourist attraction, added Minister Hoang.

The 58km system linking the island to the national power grid is the longest of its kind in Southeast Asia with a total investment of over 2.3 trillion VND (110 million USD), partly financed with a World Bank loan.

Approving the overall development of Phu Quoc island to 2010 with a vision to 2020 has given a new impetus to transform the island district into a special economic zone.

Many domestic and foreign organisations and individuals have sought investment opportunities on the island since the overall development plan approved in 2004, according to Minister Vu Huy Hoang.

Under the provincial master plan, Kien Giang has put into use a number of infrastructure projects, including the Phu Quoc international airport and An Thoi international seaport.

The major transport axis connecting the island’s northern and southern sections is currently under construction, while the Ha Tien-Phu Quoc undersea cable system is expected to become operational on the occasion of the 2014 Lunar New Year.

Phu Quoc has seen a stable and high level of economic growth with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on average increasing by over 22 percent a year during the 2005-2013.

In addition to witnessing rapid development in trade-services, construction and transportation, the island is also attractive to tourists at home and abroad.

The province welcomed nearly 2.9 million visitors in the first nine months of this year, fulfilling nearly 70 percent of its yearly target. Phu Quoc Island in particular received more than 68,000 tourists.

The island is expected to attract 5-7 million domestic and foreign visitors by 2030.-VNA