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Da Nang targets 12% growth rate   2009-03-31 - VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

The central city of Da Nang is targeting a GDP growth rate of 11 to 12 per cent this year, despite the global economic downturn, said Tran Van Minh chairman of the city's People's Committee.

Han River in the central city of Da Nang. (Photo: Internet)

This marked the city's determination to overcome difficulties, stabilise economic growth and promote social-welfare projects to improve living standards, he told the Vietnam Economic Times.

The city last year attained a GDP growth rate of 11 per cent, with export earnings of more than US$905 million, an increase of 19.5 per cent against 2007.

In recent years, the city has invested in infrastructure development and made considerable improvements in governance.

As a result, it topped last year's Viet Nam Provincial Competitiveness Index, compiled by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

With flexible investment policies, convenient transportation, competitive land prices and abundant human resources, more and more businessmen had chosen Da Nang for their investment destination, Minh said.

At present, more than 10,000 enterprises in various economic sectors were operating in the city, generating jobs for more than 275,000 workers, said the city's permanent deputy chairman Vo Duy Khuong.

Last year alone, more than 2,100 businesses with a total registered capital of more than VND7.642 trillion were granted business licences in Da Nang.

In the past 12 years, the city attracted more than $2.5 billion in foreign investment including 141 projects.

Noteworthy among them were the $325 million Capital Square urban town by Vina Capital, the $250 million Da Phuoc international new urban area by Deawon Cantavil, and the $78 million Ngu Hanh Son beach resort by Indochina Capital.

Minh said that famous landmarks such as the My Son heritage site, beautiful beaches and the hosting of the annual International Fireworks Competition gave the city great tourism potential.

To maintain the city's growth rate and its status as an ideal investment destination, Minh said the city would make further investment in infrastructure, review and adjust - urban space development planning, focus on training and developing human resources, promote social welfare and speed up administrative reform.

He said it would strictly implement the Government's key measures to prevent the economic downturn and closely control public investment.

"The city will carry out investment promotion campaigns in several fields, especially the key sectors of industry, tourism and services, ensuring that economic development is balanced with environmental protection", said Minh.

"Thus the city will say no to projects that will cause environmental pollution so that its development is sustainable," he added.

Twelve years after becoming a centrally administered city, Da Nang has turned from a poor region into a dynamic city with high-rise buildings, technology centres, entertainment complexes and tourist resorts.

The city recorded an annual average growth rate of 11.26 per cent in the 1997-2008 period, compared with the national average of 7.06 per cent.

Per capita income also increased from VND4.69 million in 1997 to VND23.62 million last year.

The rate of poor households in the city has also fallen remarkably, from 8.79 per cent in 1997 to less than 1 per cent now, Khuong said.

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