Preparations to transform Phu Quoc island district into a special administrative-economic zone have been discussed at a working session between the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission and the authorities of the southern province of Kien Giang.

Specific details about the proposed zone, including its special mechanism, were also tabled at the event, which took place in Phu Quoc island district on August 13 during the on-going working visit by a commission delegation led by its deputy head Nguyen Xuan Cuong.

Cuong acknowledged proposals made by Kien Giang province and the Southwestern Region Steering Committee regarding the project, asking the provincial authorities to speed up the progress of turning Phu Quoc into a second-class city and a special economic zone.

Situated in the centre of Southeast Asia, Phu Quoc plays a vital role in marine and air transport with countries in the region and the world. It also holds a strategic national defence and security position.

According to a master plan on Kien Giang socio-economic development by 2020, Phu Quoc island will become a special administrative-economic zone by the end of this decade with its role as a national and international hi-end ecotourism and entertainment centre and a regional financial hub.

It will also act as a national and regional forest and sea biodiversity conservation centre that holds a special position in security and national defence.

The island posts an annual economic growth rate of over 24.5 percent, a 5.2-fold increase from 2004 when the Prime Minister approved its overall development plan. Its per capita income in 2013 is estimated to reach 70.3 million VND (3,500 USD).

Phu Quoc has so far attracted 206 investment projects valued at over 4 trillion VND (190.5 million USD). Of the total, 13 projects have already been put into operation.

Work has been completed on major infrastructure projects, including Phu Quoc international airport, An Thoi international seaport and Duong Dong port. The major transport axis connecting the island’s northern and southern sections is currently under construction.-VNA