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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs    29 January 2015  

Economic zone gets funding boost

 Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has issued special policies for the Van Don Economic Zone in Quang Ninh to invite more investment to the zone as well as the province.

PM Dung has added the economic zone (EZ) to the list of coastal EZs to allocate investment for development from the state budget in the 2013-15 period.

According to the decision issued few days ago, the EZ will enjoy investment incentives under the existing regulations and also other policies meant only for it. The EZ will get priority in mobilising official development assistance (ODA) capital for some of its key infrastructure projects, and receive a maximum of 50 per cent of the reciprocal capital for the central administration's ODA project in the province.

Key infrastructure projects could get part of their project funding from the state budget, government bonds and ODA capital, including the Van Don International Airport, Van Don EZ information technological infrastructure project, Van Don international hospital and trans-island transport infrastructure in the EZ.

The EZ will also get foreign loans of the government to develop tourist seaports and marina projects being constructed under the provincial budget.

The government will also consider assisting Quang Ninh province in the form of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to implement a number of important infrastructure projects. Under Decision No 120/2007/QD-TTg for building the Van Don EZ, the EZ will cover all of Van Don Island district's 2,170 sq.m, including a township and 11 communes with 600 islands in Bai Tu Long Bay.

The Van Don EZ, together with a deep port, the Hon Mieu industrial zone in the neighbouring Hai Ha District and Mong Cai border city, is part of a plan to develop Quang Ninh province's north-eastern region. The EZ will be developed into a marine ecotourism site with an international airport as well as a service and trade centre.

According to the provincial department of planning and investment, the investment capital for the EZ till 2020 will amount to US$5 billion to $6 billion.

The department said important infrastructure will be constructed, including an airport that can service Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 aeroplanes. The airport will serve 800,000 passengers a year in the first stage, and 3.5 million passengers annually from 2020. Other construction projects include upgrading and expansion of the ports of Cai Rong, Quan Lan, Con Trui and Thang Loi, as well as Cong Yen.

Van Don, the biggest island in the northern region, was selected by the Vietnamese government to develop into a special administrative and economic zone. With its location in a corridor linking China and Southeast Asian nations, the island has easy access to other economic and political centres in Asia. — VNS

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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