Shady details uncovered about $10bil investment project

22 Feb

The $10bil tourism project in the central province of Quang Nam remains a hot topic. The proposed investor, US-based Global C&D Inc, registered its business in Nevada with total investment capital of $100,000.

In the report on the project to the Prime Minister on February 4, the Quang Nam People’s Committee wrote that the $10bil tourism project will be the biggest ever in the central region with total investment capital of $10bil. The investor is the US-based Global C&D Inc. and Tano Capital and Spring Investment.

The Quang Nam People’s Committee’s report said this is a highly feasible project, which fits the provincial plan to develop tourism projects on the coastal areas. If approved, the project will help develop Quang Nam and the central region’s economy.

However, an official working as the foreign investment project assessor and had the chance to read Quang Nam authorities’ document on the $10bil project, said the document lacked the information that such a massive investment would usually entail.

To date, no ministry has released any official opinion on the project.

Tuoi tre newspaper has spent time tracking down the profile of the investor. Global C&D was registered in Nevada on October 21, 2005 with the investment capital of $100,000 under Chairman and General Director Tong Ich Pham.

Global C&D does not have an official website and besides the information about the project provided by Quang Nam authorities, there is no further information via an internet search or other relevant sources.

This is strange, as other US companies all have their own websites. The email address left by the investor at the Quang Nam People’s Committee’s office is a Yahoo address. No big company wants partners to contact them via Yahoo accounts.

The website of Tano Capital, the co-investor, provides a contact address in Hoi An, Vietnam.

In an interview with Charles Johnson, the founder of Tano Capital in October 2007, which is featured on the website, Mr. Johnson says Tano manages the total assets of $200mil, and that the company has invested $40mil in China and made another investment in India.

As such, by the end of 2007, the total capital of the company had not reached 500mil, as he said.

Tong Ich Pham, Chairman and General Director of Global C&D, wrote in his email to local newspapers that his group still needs more working sessions with Quang Nam province. He wrote that many things still need done and he will provide more details soon.

* Vo Ta Han, Senior Advisor to Swiss UBS AG in Singapore: The first thing relevant ministries should do when working with big investors is ask them to prove their financial capability. Send several millions of dollars to a bank account to show your financial capability and we will talk about projects after.

* Tran Van Tho, Economics Prof from Japan’s Waseda University: The best solution now is for Quang Nam authorities ask the investor to pay the fee for assessing the investment project. The provincial authorities can use the sum of money to hire an independent consultancy firm to examine the feasibility of the project. If the firm provides a good assessment about the project, the provincial authorities will consider the details; it should only submit the project to the Prime Minister when it finds the project highly feasible.

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