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Da Nang: 'Five No's', 'Three Have's', and now you've got it

Update: January, 12/2007 - 00:00

Da Nang: ‘Five No’s’, ‘Three Have’s’, and now you’ve got it

(13-01-2007)

Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economics Time) spoke to Tran Van Minh, Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee, about the city’s progress towards development and economic integration.

How would you assess Da Nang’s progress in socio-economic development?

Da Nang is in a convenient strategic position for economic and international trade development. Located at the centre of the country, the city has an important role to play in terms of commerce and transportation. It is viewed as a main gateway to the East Sea from the Central Highlands and central provinces and Mekong region countries along the East-West economic corridor.

Da Nang has become a main point on the central heritage road and has major potential for tourism development.

In the past few years, the infrastructure of the city has been quickly developed, changing the city’s aspect. Applying flexible State policies, Da Nang has succeeded in planning and restructuring the city.

With the high speed of urbanisation, the city has become larger, with 3,000ha of slums cleaned up and rebuilt into a new urban area. Beside developing a modern urban area, the city has also focused on improving traffic systems including roads and bridges.

GDP per capita in 2006 was VND18 million, an increase of three times over 1997. The economic structure is moving in the direction of industrialisation and modernisation. In particular, the proportion of industry and construction has grown from 35.2 per cent of GDP in 1997 to 48.3 per cent in 2006.

With flexible policies, the city has seen remarkable results in attracting foreign investment. Foreign direct investment has increased from US$430 million in 1997 to $1 billion in 2006.

What about the standard of living of city residents?

We are sure that the people’s quality of live has greatly improved. Alongside economic development, the city has continuously implemented social programmes to improve people’s lives.

In detail, tens of thousands living in substandard housing have been relocated to new housing. The average income per person has increased 3.8 times during ten years, and the city has created 270,000 new jobs. We’ve eliminated hunger in the city and the number of poor households has decreased remarkably. Healthcare, education, and the cultural and spiritual lives of people have all received tremendous focus.

With the programme of the ‘Five No’s’, Da Nang has ensured that there is no hunger, no illiteracy, no homelessness, no drug addiction and no crime. The programme of the ‘Three Have’s’ – having a job, having a home, and having a civil lifestyle – is creating new steps for improving people’s living quality.

All Da Nang citizens and local authorities hope that the achievements of the two programmes are sustainable and become a trademark for the city.

How has Da Nang played a role in the economy of the central region?

Resolution No 33/NQ-TW foresees Da Nang becoming one of the biggest cities in the country and the social and economic hub of the central region.

With the achievements for recent years, especially in commerce, trade, and technology, Da Nang is gradually affirming its position as a motive force in the region.

On the international arena, Da Nang is well known as a place with tourist potential which attracts investment. The city has so far set up relationship with 28 provinces and cities in 12 countries and territories worldwide.

Da Nang has received high-ranking delegations from Laos, Thailand, and China, and hosted many diplomatic events like the APEC ministerial meeting on bird flu and APEC-SOM3.

The city’s target for 2006-10 term is to actively integrate and hasten development. What does this entail?

The city will set up detailed programmes and projects and carry them out in accordance with each stage of the city’s development. Basically, there are three overall strategies.

The first is to comprehensively renew and strengthen public support, mobilise resources, take full advantage of opportunities and overcome challenges, effectively push economic growth and stability, and improve living standards.

Secondly, it is necessary to accelerate the economic restructuring process in order to quicken industrial development, attract more investment into the tourism sector, and advance trade opportunities.

Maritime services and industries will be improved through expanding the Da Nang port to accommodate international transportation on the East-West corridor.

Da Nang City will become more civilised and modern, making it the Central region’s economic, cultural, technological hub.

Thirdly, city planners will focus on the construction of new urban areas that will meet resettlement needs and help stabilise people’s lives. Big projects - like widening Highway 1A, building the Da Nang international airport, broadening Tien Sa port - should be completed soon.

Programmes following Resolution 33, especially those focusing on economic restructuring, administrative reforms and the "Three Have’s", are in need of being finished.

Economic development should always go with environmental protection to ensure the city’s stable and fast development.

In the context of economic integration and globalisation, especially after Viet Nam joins the WTO, what will Da Nang focus on?

Integration and globalisation open up both opportunities and challenges. To me, in order to attract investment in the future, we need to increase the competitiveness of the local area not only in the region but also in the international arena.

Besides following the investment law and enterprise law, the city will push to improve the investment environment so that it can become more convenient for investors. Reforming administrative procedures, improving infrastructure, promoting activities to attract investment, and applying special policies to major projects will all be emphasised. The city will also start choosing technology to ensure a clean environment and stable development. — VNS

 

 

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