The winning bidders for investment in the Van Don airport and a nearby casino resort complex in Vietnam’s northern province of Quang Ninh will be chosen shortly, the Vietnam Investment Review reported, quoting a senior official. The timetable for the decision-making process should enable construction to begin in April, added the media outlet.
Nguyen Van Doc, chairman of the Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee, was also quoted saying the local authorities have been requested to complete the site clearance of the area – part of the Van Don Economic Zone – in order to prepare for the development of both projects.
“We haven’t decided who will be the investor[s] in those projects. But whoever is chosen will have to start construction in April,” the official was quoted saying.
According to the Vietnam Investment Review, that means the permission for the investment certificates “would need to be agreed by March”.
The newspaper, established under the country’s Ministry of Planning and Investment, said that the casino resort project has attracted several interested parties, including local groups and international casino operators, such as Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Vietnam’s government is considering a draft decree that if enacted might allow local citizens to enter casinos under certain conditions, a number of local media sources reported last August. One possible condition is an income test. Another suggested barrier is to impose an entry levy on Vietnamese citizens in the manner of Singapore.
Allowing locals to play – even under restricted conditions – is likely to boost the interest of foreign investors in the country, reported local and international media.
In January, it was additionally reported that Vietnam’s Prime Minister had approved plans for the construction of a casino at Phu Quoc Island, in the southern province of Kiên Giang.
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Lionel Leong Vai Tac
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance