SOME GULFS AND BAYS 17

Referring to the natural conditions and the potential of development of the sea and coastal areas of Viet Nam in the Gulf of Thailand, the Vietnamese Prime Minister signed Decision No. 18/2009/QD-TTg approving the Development Planning of the Sea and Coastal Areas of Viet Nam in the Gulf of Thailand towards 2020. The goal of planning is to turn these areas into areas of dynamic economic development and contribute to the general development of the sea and coastal areas in the southwest of Viet Nam. The sea and coastal areas of Viet Nam in the Gulf of Thailand will be connected with all other coastal areas of the country to make a united economic belt stretching from Mong Cai to Ha Tien.
The efforts, as planned, will focus on building an “economic corridor” going along the coast in the Gulf of Thailand from Nam Can-Ca Mau to Rach Gia-Ha Tien. A key leading economic area will be gradually formed in the southernmost coast of the country. Efforts will also focus on construction of a coastal transpot artery going through Viet Nam, Cambodia and Thailand and which will link the economic hubs of Nanning (China) and Lang Son province (Viet Nam) to Singapore.
The principal advantageous economic sectors to be developed in the key leading economic area are industry, fishery, tourism and sea services. Phu Quoc Island will become a synthetic sea economic zone. A high-class eco- tourism center of the sea and islands will be established. It will be enhanced at the regional level to attract international tourists. For the sake of tourism, the protected sea area will quickly and efficiently operate.
Accordingly, the food and beverage industry, manufacturing, consumer goods, jewelry, souvenirs, repair of mechanical equipment, services of sea transport and products processing will be promoted. Some enterprise clusters of adequate scale will be formed in Duong To and An Thoi. Clean and high-tech industries will be provided to serve tourism and exporting. An electric plant using diesel and gas will be built. Wind power and solar power will be used. Power will be brought to Phu Quoc Island by submarine cables and there will be a uniform grid system over the island.
The sea and coastal economic sectors will be strongly developed. Priority will be given to the development of rural coastal services. Phu Quoc will be gradually turned into a large commercial center in the region. Giang Thanh border gate will be upgraded to increase trade in goods between the sea and coastal areas of Viet Nam in the Gulf of Thailand and Cambodia and other countries of the region. Viet Nam coordinates further with relevant nations to implement the agreements reached on petroleum exploration and exploitation in the overlapping waters. Viet Nam will boost cooperation with Malaysia to develop oil and gas mining in the joint cooperation exploitation zone (PM-3). Search and exploration of other mines in the overlapping areas between the two countries will be expanded. Cooperation with oil companies, especially with the largest companies of the world, in exploration and exploitation of oil in plots in the Gulf of Thailand will be promoted.
The building rate of a system of urban coastal cities is also accelerated now. Rach Gia will be constructed into a strong sea economic center, a large and modern fishing center of the country. Ca Mau city will be developed in a close combination with the Ca Mau Industrial Zone of Gas, Electricity and Nitrogen Fertilizer and with satellite towns.
The contents of the planning clearly show that foreign investment should be further attracted, especially from big oil companies. The network of appropriate regional ports should be reasonably developed. Nam Can and Hon Chong ports should be upgraded and expanded to reach a capacity of commodity loading and unloading of 700-800 thousand tons per year. A central seaport will be built on Phu Quoc Island that is as well a major center for maritime services in the Gulf of Thailand.
Along with development of some key economic sectors, the sea and coastal areas of Viet Nam in the Gulf of Thailand will achieve an economic growth rate 1.4 times higher than the growth rate of the GDP of the whole country. By 2020 the living standards of people in this region will be five times higher than now. Poverty will be reduced.

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