Hồ Kỳ Minh. Photo baogiaothong.vn
To mark the 25th anniversary of the resumption of Việt Nam-US diplomatic relations (July 12, 1995), Hồ Kỳ Minh, Vice Chairman of the Đà Nẵng People’s Committee gave an interview to Vietnam News Agency on the co-operation between the US and Đà Nẵng City
Can you give us an outline of co-operation between Vietnamese agencies and the American side in the treatment of contaminated soil and sediment at Đà Nẵng International Airport?
The northern part of the Đà Nẵng airport has been referred to as a dioxin hotspot due to the high dioxin concentrations in soil and sediment remaining decades after Agent Orange and other herbicides were handled at the airport during the US-Việt Nam war.
On June 1, 2012, then Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng issued a decision to approve the national action plan to clean the contaminated soil and sediment left at the Đà Nẵng airport by the US during the war.
The Vietnamese Air Force was assigned to undertake the mission with support from the USAID.
The immediate objective of the cleaning up mission at Đà Nẵng airport is to make sure there is no exposure risk to the people or environment at Đà Nẵng airport.
In the long run, the American side will continue to strengthen Việt Nam’s capacity to make its own evaluations and clean up the environment at Đà Nẵng airport.
What are the future co-operation plans between Việt Nam and the US in cleaning up Đà Nẵng airport?
This project covers an area of 18.3ha with a volume of about 73,000cu.m of soil and mud contaminated with dioxin.
In 2016, the Ministry of Defence adjusted the project area to 37.4ha, with a volume of mud and soil contaminated with dioxin to 90,000cu.m.
The funding for this project comes from the US's non-refundable aid and Vietnamese counterpart fund.
The project implementation was divided into two phases – phase 1 from August 2012-December 2015 and phase 2 from January 2016- October 2018.
By now, the project has excavated 162,567cu.m of soil and mud, cleared some 20ha of land from explosives while almost 10,000cu.m of soil and mud have been cleaned from contamination.
What’s more important is the project has reduced to the maximum the level of dioxin contamination to humans and the soil at Đà Nẵng airport.
How does Đà Nẵng benefit from cleaning up the airport?
By now 29ha of land contaminated by US land mines has been cleaned and the land has become a part of Đà Nẵng airport in its expansion.
For example, the T2 International Terminal serves four - six million passengers a year and has become a beacon of Đà Nẵng City.
It is projected that by the year 2022, the T2 Terminal will be able to receive 2.3 million passengers per year and by 2025 it will be 4 million and by 2030 it will be 6 million.
Will you please talk a bit about the future socio-economic co-operation between the US and Đà Nẵng City?
Relating to foreign direct investment, by May 31, 2020, there were 68 projected by US investors in Đà Nẵng with a total capital registration of more than US$590 million.
Meanwhile, export turnover from Đà Nẵng firms to the US accounts for about 20.5 per cent of the city’s export turnover. The main items exported to the US are textile products, aqua products, children toys, wood furniture, artworks and others.
Meanwhile, US imports into the city – mainly the transport facilities, western medicine and textile materials - account for about 5 per cent of the city’s imported goods.
At present, Đà Nẵng has more than 20 enterprises that have trade relations with the US. Recently, the two sides have agreed to restore their tourism activities and to develop their seaport facility and logistics. The US has agreed to help Đà Nẵng become a smart city.
Đà Nẵng authorities have committed to doing their best to offer the best opportunities to enterprises and investors – both inside and outside Việt Nam - to do business. VNS