Several road construction projects on Phu Quoc Island are behind schedule because of a lack of capital and the weak capacity of company contractors, affecting tourism and investment.

Danh Thanh Vinh of the province's Department of Transport said five key traffic construction projects on the island had been delayed.

Vinh, deputy director for investment and construction projects, said the government had allocated 200 billion VND (US$9.6 million) out of 338 billion VND (16.2 million USD) for traffic projects on the island, located off southwestern Kien Giang province.

Nguyen Van Sau, deputy director of the Phu Quoc Island Investment Management Board, said an incomplete road system would have a negative effect on tourism projects and further investment.

The construction of the 7-km Duong Dong – Cua Lap, a road that circles the island, was scheduled for completion in November 2009.

However, only four welders have been seen at a bridge construction site on the road.

Hoang Ngoc Chinh, head of the construction team, said his team had begun working only recently.

His team was allocated to replace the previous team, which had caused the delay, he added.

The province's Department of Transport is considering halting the contract with the main contractor for the road because of their reluctance in pursuing construction on schedule.

Local residents are concerned that the delay could affect the ongoing construction of Phu Quoc International Airport , expected to open by the end of 2012.

In addition, construction on roads linking the airport with other main roads has not been completed.

Sau told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that a shortage of capital was the main cause for the delay, noting that the project holders owed the contractors 150 billion VND (7.2 million USD) at the end of August.

Weather has also contributed to delays as rain occurs daily for about six months of the year on Phu Quoc Island./.