Time for project action

November 21, 2010 | 14:30
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Ultimatums have been given to foreign developers sitting on their hands instead of developing their projects.

The people’s committees of central Phu Yen and Binh Thuan provinces announced investment certificates for gigantic tourism property projects would be scrapped if the developers cannot implement their commitments. Those projects include Galileo Investment Group’s Creative City and South Fork Development Company’s South Fork Twin Capes project.

The strict announcements indicate that provincial authorities are cautious over the financial abilities of foreign developers, who registered to build behemoth tourism property projects.

Galileo Investment Group, which registered to develop the $1.68 billion Creative City in Phu Yen province, comprising residential, commercial, financial, educational, high technology and tourism zones, has delayed paying nearly $8 million in deposits for the project. The Phu Yen People’s Committee said the final deadline for this developer to pay its deposit was December 21.

“After the deadline, we will withdraw its investment certificate. Paying a deposit is a strong commitment of a developer to the project,” said Nguyen Chi Hien, director of Phu Yen’s Department of Planning and Investment. 

Meanwhile, the Binh Thuan People’s Committee announced that it would revoke the investment certificate of the US-bankrolled South Fork Twin Capes project if its investor, South Fork Development Company, failed to start the project’s construction before December 25.

The provincial authority stated that this project, licenced in 2004, had been delayed for too long and the investor “does not actively process procedures regulated in the investment certificate to implement the project’s construction, and does not have goodwill to cooperate with local authorities”.

The $50 million South Fork Twin Capes in the coastal town of Phan Thiet in Binh Thuan province, about 150 kilometres east of Ho Chi Minh City, is comprised of first class ‘theme resorts”, two 18-hole golf courses, villas and a 6,000-seat conference centre. Local authorities criticised the project for prolonged delays since it received an investment licence in 2004.

Binh Thuan Police Department recently indicated that there were signs South Fork Development Company was trying to transfer the project before implementing construction. The agency also proposed to withdraw the investor’s certificate.

“We are facing pressure from residents who are asking whether South Fork has strong financial abilities, as they announced before,” said Luong Van Hai, director of Binh Thuan’s Planning and Investment Department.

Recently, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) required all provinces and cities nationwide to check, assess and report all tourism property projects engaged in eco-tourism, entertainment, resorts, casinos and golf courses based in their localities to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) by November 30. The MPI estimated that about 130 foreign-invested tourism property projects would be inspected in the near future.

MPI Minister Vo Hong Phuc said that many foreign investors, including tourism property ones, came to Vietnam to take advantage of the country’s investment incentives, while waiting to illegally transfer their projects to seek profits.

By Ngoc Linh


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