Sea reclamation proposed for central economic zone

By Xuan Ngoc   April 18, 2021 | 11:16 pm PT
Sea reclamation proposed for central economic zone
Van Phong Economic Zone in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuoc.
Van Phong Economic Zone in Khanh Hoa Province should be expanded by 1,500 hectares (3,706 acres) toward the sea, its consultant unit stated.

Hoang Dinh Phi, management head of the economic zone (EZ), said the consultant unit, U.S.-based Boston Consulting Group, proposed the sea reclamation in Van Ninh District at a provincial meeting last week.

The area proposed to be reclaimed comprises a solitary swamp apart from the sea conservation zone, with proceedings said to not leave any impacts on the environment or marine ecosystem.

"This is just a preliminary proposal and once it is approved, it would require careful study and specific plans for execution," said Phi.

Apart from the sea reclamation, the consultant unit also suggested adding 3,500 hectares of Van Ninh’s hilly and mountainous terrain into the economic zone.

The expansion would help "synchronize industries in the region and localities to promote their strength in industry and hi-tech agriculture to attract investments and promote economic development" in line with the general planning of the economic zone, which lies two kilometers from the resort town of Nha Trang.

Established in 2006, Van Phong EZ covers 150,000 hectares, including 70,000 hectares of land and 80,000 hectares of water area in Van Phong Bay of Van Ninh District in Khanh Hoa.

It is one of three major EZs in Vietnam, with the other two being Phu Quoc EZ and Van Don EZ.

With government approval, Van Phong EZ would function as a multi-sector economic zone, with an international container transit port, petrochemical industry in combination with the development of tourism, aquaculture and other sectors.

Van Phong EZ serves as the economic hub of Khanh Hoa Province, playing a leading role in attracting investment.

Now Phi said compared to the 2014 plan, the new one targets turning the zone into an "active economic center" with focus on new sectors including a high-end service complex and modern casino.

The proposal has been submitted to the Ministry of Planning and Investment and if approved, the management board of Van Phong EZ would collect opinions from related agencies and local residents to draw up detailed plans for later provincial approval.

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