The 110kV Ha Tien – Phu Quoc submarine power cable system has been in operation for more than half a year now, marking the strong development and change in the socio-economic outlook of the island district, the Vietnam Economic News reported.

Thanks to the national grid, instead of buying power from diesel generators at high prices, now daily activities of Phu Quoc islanders have been easier and investment projects in the island have also progressed more quickly.

The owner of Khai Hoan fish-sauce making facility Ho Kim Lien, who has lived on the island for a long time, said although power prices only account seven percent of her production structure, the trading activities have become more active since the island was connected to the national grid and she is considering to invest in hotel business there.

Power prices of Kim Vang Hotel (30/4 Road, Duong Dong Town) have also reduced from 13 to 7 million VND a month. The manager of the hotel said she feels relieved now thanks to the connection to the national grid.

The demand for power in other places like the Phu Quoc General Hospital – the only hospital on the island that is in charge of examining and treating both local people and tourists is very high. Director of the Phu Quoc General Hospital said “Previously, we could not even run diesel-fueled power generators as the power consumption was too high and it cost 200 million VND for power prices every month. Now the prices have dropped more than 50 percent.”

The traffic infrastructure on Phu Quoc has received comprehensive investment, including the North-South axis, bypasses, an international airport and a passenger port. Therefore, connection to the national grid is expected to make a push to turn the island into a special economic and administrative zone and a centre for trade exchanges of the country, the region and the world.

Statistics of the Phu Quoc district People's Committee showed that, in 2013 it welcomed more than 500,000 tourists, of those 35 percent were foreigners and the number this year is expected at 600,000 as a direct airline route from Russia to Phu Quoc was opened and another route from Incheon (the Republic of Korea) to Phu Quoc is about to be launched.

Many other projects are under prompt implementation on the island such as the Vingroup’s hotel complex project in Bai Dai; the 120 room Sailing project in Cua Lap while some local hotels will expand and diversify their services. So far, nearly 200 projects have been invested in Phu Quoc and mainly in tourism sector.

Deputy Chairman of Phu Quoc district People's Committee Huynh Quang Hung said connection to the national grid helped reduce 50-70 percent of electricity costs than previous time, hotel charges and other services also decreased from 5-20 percent.

In the past eight years, Phu Quoc’s economy has seen a strong development towards tourism and services, with average growth of 26 percent a year and per capita income of 82 million VND a year.-VNA