Danang’s journey to sustainability

Source: Pano feed

(VOV) – Danang leads the pack as one of the world’s fastest-growing family and vacation destinations as its marble mountains, tranquil beaches and authentic Vietnamese dishes continue to bring international praise.

It has also been cited as one of the world’s leading atractors of foreign direct investment (FDI), having experienced a remarkable spike of more than US$2.1 billion during the five-year period leading up to 2010.

However, since 2009 foreign investment has declined and in the three months leading up to April of this year the city has reported investment of US$3.39 million, much lower than many leading economists had expected.

Recently, Director of the Da Nang Department of Planning and Investment Tran Van Son,

sat down with a reporter from the Vietnam Business Forum to explain the figures.

Most of the decline in reported FDI can be attributed to the fact that the city is highly selective in the types of investment it approves, as city leaders place special emphasis on environmentally friendly projects, Son said.


Son cited a US$200 million textile investment by Textile and Garment Group (Hong Kong) that the city turned down because it consisted of dyeing stages that were highly likely to pollute the environment as one example of the importance placed on the environment.

Similarly, in the second quarter of 2014, a Korean company was seeking over 30 ha for its textile dyeing complex but the authority also turned it away and helped them find another province in the region to locate the project.

Earlier, the city rejected two billion-dollar each steel projects because of environmental issues, Son said but facilitated them finding other more appropriate cites for their business ventures.

It is clear from Son’s interview that the city doesn’t have a problem attracting investment per se, it is just that the city is having problems courting the type of investment it desires into target industries like aerospace, supporting industries, tourism, trade, logistics and healthcare.

The city continues to benefit tremendously from the FDI it has received in the past Son said, adding that there are many promising opportunities on the front burner with big firms like Airbus, Safran, KAI, Mitsubishi Industry and Apple.

Lam Quang Minh, director of the Da Nang Investment Promotion Centre recently expressed the same views as Son saying the city has in recent years turned away many foreign investments that are not environmentally friendly.

It is a pragmatic approach toward conservation, observed Minh. There are those that have suggested only wealthy cities can be green and environmentally sustainable but for Danang it is the other way round.

City leaders are looking to make Danang a prosperous strategically located port and tourism destination and to accomplish that end it needs to attract clean and environment-friendly businesses.

The city is doing well economically because it is environmentally conscious. This consciousness is very much in policy making, land use planning and community engagement and is essential for Danang to be a liveable city with a sustainable economy

Factors such as the slow recovery of the world’s economy and weak purchasing power of the Dong have certainly contributed to an overall decline in investment but those factors are beyond the control of city officials and it does not mean we should lower our standards for investment.

Thai Ba Canh, deputy head of the Da Nang hi-tech management board in turn said the total planning area for the hi-tech zone is 1,130 hectares and only 100 hectares have been developed to date so there is plenty of room for future development.

Canh said the management board is implementing a one stop registration process to streamline the process of obtaining an investment certificates and, in addition, has begun to more aggressively seek new high tech investment.

Nguyen Bieu, Director of the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment said several investors abandoned coastal projects that had been approved and the department is now in the process of reclaiming hundreds of hectares of coastal land.

In all likelihood the investors lacked sufficient financial capacity to complete the project and this land can now be reclaimed and put to better use. It is a waste just to let it set undeveloped.

For his part, Phung Tan Viet, municipal People’s Committee Vice Chairman said the city is focused on implementing five major solutions to attract investment in line with the strategy of high-quality and high-tech industry.

We have had much success with attracting investment and we have progressed. There is much more to do, but there is no hallmark of success more distinctive or meaningful to achieving the position as the cleanest and greenest city in Southeast Asia.

Đăng ký: VietNam News