Stretching along the southern central coast, Phu Yen province borders Binh Dinh province to the north, Khanh Hoa province to the south, and Dak Lak and Gia Lai provinces to the west. Covering some 5,060 square kilometers with diverse terrains - coastal sandy land, river delta, midland and mountains, Phu Yen has a population of around 887,000 (according to early 2015’s statistics). Its major urban centers are Tuy Hoa city as its capital and Song Cau town, surrounded by seven districts of Dong Xuan, Tuy An, Son Hoa, Phu Hoa, Song Hinh, Tay Hoa and Dong Hoa. With a coastline of 189 km, it boasts big potential for sea economy and tourism.
|Ghenh Da Dia (cliff of interlocking basalt columns) in Tuy An district __Photo: phuyentourism.gov.vn|
Attractions for foreign investment
Phu Yen is convenient for building a section of the East-West railway linking the Central Highland provinces and border provinces of Laos and Cambodia. Its Vung Ro port is capable of accommodating vessels of a tonnage of up to 5,000 DWT and handling 500,000 tons of cargo a year while Bai Goc port is designed to accommodate vessels of up to 250,000 DWT. Located three kilometers from Tuy Hoa city, the airport with the same name now has a terminal that can receive 550,000 passengers a year. Low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific Airlines is operating five flights a week in the Tuy Hoa-Hanoi route. It also cooperates with another low-cost carrier (Vietjet Air) in running 14 flights a week in the Tuy Hoa-Ho Chi Minh City route.
Phu Yen authorities and people are exerting their efforts to turn the 20,730-hectare Southern Phu Yen economic zone (EZ) into one of the major industrial centers and seaports in the southern Central Vietnam and Central Highlands as recommended by President Tran Dai Quang who recently had a working session with the provincial authorities. The EZ is home to the Vung Ro refinery project - a petrochemical complex capitalized at USD 3.2 billion and designed to have an annual output of 8 million tons.
Phu Yen is home to five industrial parks on a total area of 1,080 hectares and three others covering 754 hectares awaiting investors.
Deputy director of the Phu Yen Planning and Investment Department Nguyen Le Vu said that the province has so far attracted 42 foreign direct investment projects with a combined registered capital of over USD 4.72 billion. Sixteen countries and territories, including Brunei, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong (China), Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, Taiwan (China), Thailand, the UK, and the US, are running those projects that employ a total of 3,400 local workers. The invested sectors are aquatic and marine product processing, sugar production, pharmaceutical production, beverage and tourism.
On May 5, the Phu Yen Economic Zone Authority licensed the US CCIPY Electronics LLC Company to manufacture electronic spare parts for export. The USD 5.77 million project, the first of its kind in the province, is expected to turn out some 500 million computer spare parts per year.
Vu said his province was calling for investment in a number of major projects, including a USD 100 million project to build infrastructure facilities in Phu Yen hi-tech agriculture zone in Phu Hoa district, USD 1.5 billion An Binh Thanh deluxe complex investment project in Song Cau town and Tuy An district, and USD 170 million project to build petrochemical industrial park infrastructure facilities in Dong Hoa district.
The province has recently introduced numerous incentives for investors. Accordingly, projects on the list of sectors prioritized for investment or relocated under master plans or due to environmental pollution would enjoy land or water surface rental exemption for three years. Meanwhile, investment projects in areas with socio-economic difficulties or on the list of sectors specially prioritized for investment would be exempted from land or water surface rental for seven years. Special incentives would be given to projects capitalized at over VND 6 trillion, projects employing at least 500 local workers and hi-tech projects.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Hoang Van Tra said that the province would create favorable conditions for investors to complete land rent procedures, ground clearance and resettlement compensation for four projects in agriculture. They include the dairy cow and beef cattle raising project, a maize growing project jointly implemented by Van Thang Trading and Import-Export Co. Ltd. and France’s Invivo NSA group, the ocean tuna purchase and processing project of Japan’s Hokugan Company and Phu Yen biomass power plant project. In addition, the province will have an Investment Promotion Center under the provincial People’s Committee, a land fund development center and a land use rights registration office to facilitate investment procedures, he added.
To promote Phu Yen’s socio-economic development this year, Tra said the province would attract investment in the Phu Yen hi-tech agriculture zone, step up administrative reforms, create a stable and transparent investment environment, raise the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) and the provincial governance and public administration performance index (PAPI), and attach more importance to the province’s tourist services.
|Yen islet, 15 km from Tuy Hoa city, where lots of bird nets are exploited __Photo: phuyentourism.gov.vn|
Ideal destinations for tourists
Phu Yen is well-known for its beautiful scenery, pristine beaches, blue bays, hidden coves, white sands and swaying palms. Lying at the foot of Mui Dien (or Dai Lanh) lighthouse in Tan Phuoc hamlet, Hoa Tam commune, Tuy Hoa district, its Mon beach has become more popular since it was shot in the renowned movie “Toi thay hoa vang tren co xanh” (I see yellow flowers on green grass) by overseas Vietnamese director Victor Vu. The province boasts 16 islands, 46 beaches and lots of beautiful lagoons and bays, including Xuan Dai bay, one of the top ten most beautiful bays in Vietnam, which are ideal for tourism development. Other famous tourist destinations are Cu Mong mountain pass, Nhan tower, Vung Ro bay and Ghenh Da Dia (cliff of interlocking basalt columns).
The provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism Department reported that more than 580,000 tourists visited the province in the first half of this year, a year-on-year increase of 18 percent. An upward trend in the number of international arrivals to Phu Yen was also seen with 28,000 foreign holiday-makers in the reviewed period, up 11 percent compared to the last year. The total revenues earned from tourism in the first half of the year exceeded VND 550 billion.
At present, Phu Yen has a total of 130 hotels with 2,660 rooms, including two five-star and two four-star hotels.
During the 2011-2015 period, the provincial tourist sector developed two local tours and seven local tourist sites in addition to tours to local cultural and historical relics, traditional craft villages and festivals. In addition, it has organized and participated in tourism exhibitions, fairs and promotion conferences in the country and abroad, distributed tourist publications, put advertisements on the local tourism website, social networks and media. So far, it has 28 tourism projects with a total registered capital of VND 45.9 trillion, of which eight projects have been partially put into operation.
The province was expected to welcome over 2 million tourists, including 490,000 foreign tourists, and earn a turnover of VND 3.1 trillion by 2020, heard a conference of the Phu Yen Tourism Development Steering Committee early this month.
To reach the goals, the hospitality industry proposes increasing flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Yen, launching new routes from the province to other localities in the country and abroad and upgrading Tuy Hoa railway station so as to develop train tours. It will develop sea and island, cultural, ecological, adventurous and spiritual tours and call for investment in sea voyage, convalescence, golf and other deluxe forms of tourism.-