Can Gio plan changes from agriculture into tourism, services

Coastal Can Gio district will change its plan and economic structure, giving priority to tourism and services instead of agriculture to fully exploit local potentials and improve residents’ living quality.
Can Gio district has advantages to develop ecotourism (Photo: SGGP)
Can Gio district has advantages to develop ecotourism (Photo: SGGP)
The People’s Committee of HCMC has assigned the Department of Planning and Investment to work with Can Gio district authorities to change construction plan in the district.
The move has been made after the Government approved in principle the plan adjustment of coastal areas in Long Hoa commune and Can Thanh town.
After being approved, the plan will be supplemented to the city’s construction plan by 2030. The city People’s Committee will consider the scale of sea reclamation project Can Gio Urban Area and report to the Prime Minister matters out of its jurisdiction.
Mr. Le Minh Dung, chairman of the Can Gio People’s Committee, said that the district’s plan adjustment comprises economic structure change, putting services and tourism on top of priority before agriculture.
According to Mr. Dung, the city’s only coastal district has many unique places to develop tourism with the coastline length of 23 kilometers, over 20,000 hectares of river and canal water face, 330,000 hectares of mangrove forest and Sac Forest Base Historic Site.
However, the district’s potentials have yet to be exploited fully for the last many years. Hence, Mr. Dung said he hoped that experts and agencies will give opinions and ideas for the plan adjustment to develop the district and improve residents’ living quality.
According to HCMC economic zone development plan, Can Gio is one of satellite towns.
The Department of Planning and Investment said that besides the already planned Binh Khanh urban area, the adjusted plan will develop Can Thanh urban area; home to the sea reclamation project, tourist and services development.
Can Gio now has Sac Forest road linking Binh Khanh urban area up to future Can Thanh urban area.
In addition, the policy of building Binh Khanh bridge has been approved by the Prime Minister to connect District 7 with Nha Be and Can Gio. Can Gio development will help remove residents from the overloaded center of the city.
Waterway traffic development
Can Gio is not only a world biosphere reserve but also the green lung of the city and surrounding areas. So balance between economics and preservation and sustainable development is not a simple problem for planners.
Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy chairman of HCMC Planning Association, said that Can Gio development should be put in a long term vision with initial roadmap possibly lengthening 20-30 years as many sea reclamation cities in the world have taken up to 40-50 years to establish and operate smoothly.
He suggested waterway traffic development in Long Tau and Soai Rap rivers to connect the center of the city with Can Gio. This measure will reduce road building costs, protect mangrove forests and develop waterway tourism.
Beside the plan adjustment, the city People’s Committee has approved the policy of permitting Can Gio Tourist Urban Area Joint Stock Company to study the sea reclamation project. After two times of change, the project’s area has increased to 2,870 hectares comprising 600 hectares of sea reclamation. 
So far, Can Gio district has only one built real estate project, Phuoc Loc residential area invested by Phuoc Loc Housing Construction and Trading Company.
The garden house, locating near the reclamation project site, has 500 villas and houses built over 56 hectares since 2005 but been unsalable. Infrastructure system in the area has run downgraded.

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