Nearly all the most powerful real estate groups are present on Phu Quoc, including Vingroup, SunGroup, CEO Group, Bim Group and Xuan Thanh, which have poured money into resort and entertainment complex projects.
According to Nguyen Thong Nhat, head of the Phu Quoc SEZ Board of Management, in 2017 alone, the Kien Giang provincial authorities approved 21 investment projects which will a total area of 570.62 hectares. They granted 28 investment certificates to projects capitalized at VND15.458 trillion in total.
Also according to Nhat, 28 foreign invested projects totaling $300 million have been committed.
Besides officially registered investment projects, Phu Quoc has also received investments from other sources, including investors from Hanoi, HCMC, Kien Giang and cash flow from overseas Vietnamese.
The presence of investors has pushed the land price up by tens of times. In some areas, the land price has increased by 100 times in the last 10 years.
At a working session with the Kien Giang provincial People’s Committee in April 2017, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the Communist Party Politburo has approved a plan to set up an SEZ on Phu Quoc, while the laws for the SEZ are being written.
Phu Quoc, an island with an area nearly equal to Singapore, will be designed to become a tourism center of international stature. There must be a specific mechanism for Phu Quoc SEZ development, which could be either a law or a National Assembly resolution.
The PM said Phu Quoc will be the first locality in the country to apply the new development model. It will be the flagship among three provinces - Phu Quoc, Van Don and Bac Van Phong - chosen to apply the model of special administrative-economic units.
The details of the Phu Quoc SEZ development plan have not been revealed, but major principles have been set up. The head of the SEZ will be chosen based on open competitions with the criteria designed by international consultants and approved by the government.
Phu Quoc SEZ will develop on the platform of a. knowledge-based economy. It is expected that after 20 years Phu Quoc will catch up with Hong Kong and Singapore.
There will be an overseas finance center on Phu Quoc, where foreigners have the right to own and trade in tourism and resort real estate, while investors can mortgage real estate at foreign owned banks for loans.