TURKMENBASHI, Turkmenistan (AP) — A multibillion dollar project has been launched to create a major tourist resort in Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea.

It's the latest effort to open up the energy-rich Central Asian nation to the outside world. President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov told an investment forum in the port city of Turkmenbashi that several foreign companies will be investing as much as $4 billion into the project.

Plans call for building 60 hotels, restaurants, a 3,000-seat stadium, sports facilities and shopping centers. International oil and gas companies have been intensifying competition for access to the country's vast energy resources.