Crane unloads cargo from a ship at the Chu Lai-Truong Hai port of the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone. (Photo: VNS)

Quang Nam (VNA) - The Chu Lai Open Economic Zone attracted 23 projects in 2017. Three were foreign investment projects worth 16 million USD.

Total investment of 1.4 billion USD was made during the year, 13.5 times as much as the year before.

Director of the Economic Zone Authority (EZA) Do Xuan Dien said this was the biggest growth in investment since the economic zone opened in 2003.

He said business promotion forums were held in the province, HCM City, Macau-China and this year’s APEC meeting in Quang Nam.

Dien said infrastructure and administrative reforms had been promoted to smooth the way for investors.

He said the zone had attracted 138 projects, of which 34 were FDI projects worth 1 billion USD involving total investment of 3.68 billion since 2003.

Eighty-eight projects worth more than 1.3 billion USD, are in operation, including 24 FDI projects worth 227 million USD.

At an investment promotion conference in June, the province presented investment licences to 32 projects with a total registered capital of 15.8 billion USD. The biggest licence was a 10 billion USD framework agreement signed between Exxon Mobil and the State oil and gas giant PetroVietnam to develop a power plant using natural gas from the Blue Whale field off the coast of Quang Nam.

A series of huge tourism property projects also began construction in 2017, including Vinpearl South Hoi An worth 213 million USD; An Thinh resort complex (191 million USD); beach resort Opal Ocean View (205 million USD); Binh Duong resort complex (206 million USD) and an infrastructure project at Tam Thang Industrial Park (220 million USD).

Last year, Japan’s Mazda Motor Corporation, in cooperation with local Truong Hai Automobile Joint-Stock Company (Thaco), started construction of a new Mazda plant at a total investment of 380 million USD.

The 32,400ha zone has invested $39 million to dredge the main ports of Tam Hiep and Ky Ha for ships with a capacity of 10,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage) and 20,000 DWT.

Direct sea routes were launched from Chu Lai to Incheon in Korea, and Fangcheng in China for hosting textiles, automobiles, logistics experts, exports and investment flows from the Republic of Korea and Japan.

According to Nguyen Hong Quang, head of the provincial secretariat, the budget carrier VietJetAir and US partner Parsons Brinckerhoff have proposed a master plan for development of Chu Lai airport as an international airport in 2020-25.

It will host 2.3 million passengers and handle 1.5 million tonnes of cargo per year.-VNA