Pham Viet Thanh, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said the key task is to form a free trade zone associated with a deep-water seaport in Cai Mep Ha area and develop the province into a world-class high-quality tourism center following the Politburo’s Resolution No.24-NQ/TW.

Ba Ria - Vung Tau has a system of deep-water seaports spanning nearly 20km which is classified as a national special one and serves as a gateway to the East Sea of the southern region. The local Cai Mep - Thi Vai is now the only port cluster in Vietnam that accommodates ships carrying containers directly to Europe and America without transshipment through a third country.

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The formation of Cai Mep Ha free trade zone in association with the 300km East-West urban-industrial corridor will create an outstanding comparative advantage of Vietnam with other countries in the Southeast Asian region in particular and the world in general given a new stage of development. It will also help develop Ba Ria - Vung Tau into a national marine economic center.

The province, meanwhile, boats strength and potential to become a quality tourism and resort center of international standard. It has a coastline spanning some 300km and the Con Dao national park, which was internationally recognized as Vietnam’s first ever sea Ramsar site. The park is home to 1,077 species of vascular plants, 155 species of fauna, and one of the richest and most diverse coral reefs in the country. National historical and cultural relic sites coupled with many traditional festivals of coastal people also make the province attractive to visitors.

Thanh said the province has identified tourism development as one of its important economic pillars toward becoming a high quality, world-class tourism hub. Currently, the local tourism activities mainly take place on the Vung Tau - Long Hai - Phuoc Hai - Binh Chau national tourist areas as well as on Con Dao island.

The 16-island archipelago of Con Dao is located 180km from Vung Tau city, and about 230km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. It has a land area of nearly 6,000ha and a water surface of 14,000ha.

It is well known for beaches with white sand, deep blue water and colorful coral reefs. French colonialists and the Americans turned the island into a prison to jail Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers in wartime. The facility has attracted many local and foreign visitors in recent years.

Source: VNA