Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged Phu Quoc island district in southern Kien Giang province to bring into play its advantages and potential to develop the maritime economy and tourism.

The Deputy PM made the call when he announced the Prime Minister’s decision recognising Phu Quoc as a second-tier city at a November 15 ceremony in the island district.

He said the local authorities to pay attention to building a green-clean-beautiful-friendly city while preserving the natural environment to keep the reputation as the Pearl Island.

Vietnam’s rating system classifies cities into tiers based on political, economic and demographic factors representing their current stage of development.

The island’s promotion follows its recent transport and tourism infrastructure development. The local government has made strides in urban planning, consolidating more than 70 percent of urban housing, and constructing a 60.72km transport network. An international airport and a seaport have been put into operation, and the district has been linked to the national power grid by an undersea cable line.

Located on the Vienam-Cambodia-Thailand marine economic corridor, Phu Quoc island district covers more than with a population of over 100,000. It comprises 27 islands with Phu Quoc being the largest and dubbed the Pearl Island.

Its average annual economic growth is 25 percent with per capita income reaching 3,416 USD per year.

Kien Giang is also working on procedures to recognise Phu Quoc Island a provincially-run city in the time to come, which is a step in turning the island district into a special economic-administrative zone.

In the long term, the island district is envisioned to become an economic and political hub, a crucial frontier in national defence and security, and a crucial transit point for international travelers.-VNA