APEC 2017 host city lauded as most livable in Vietnam

2017-11-05 17:24Xinhua Editor: Feng Shuang ECNS App Download

At 1 a.m. local time on Saturday, in Sky36 bar in the second tallest building in Vietnam's central port city of Da Nang, dozens of youths were shaking their bodies to the rhythm of electronic dance music and enjoying drinks at exorbitant prices.

Starting on Monday, Da Nang will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week, drawing eyes from around the globe.

"At weekend, we often come here to treat our ears with frenetic electronic dance music and have casual talks with foreigners, and treat our eyes with on-and-off laser lights, especially with sexy dancers," Nguyen Van Dung, fresh graduate from the University of Da Nang, told Xinhua, occasionally winking at scantily clad girls in white dress uniforms.

Right after graduation this autumn, Dung found a well-paid job, working as an information technology engineer, and the same held true with many of his friends.

"Seeing us buy a bottle of beer here at a a price of 180,000 Vietnamese dong (8 U.S. dollars) excluding tax and fee, 4-5 times higher than that in supermarkets, some may think that we spend money like water, but we spend the money we earn legitimately, not by begging or robbing others," the young man grinned broadly.

His remarks included two out of five "Nos" pursued by Da Nang authorities.

Da Nang has implemented the policy of "Five Nos" and "Three Haves." The "Five Nos" are no hungry households, no beggars, no illiterate people or no dropouts, no drug addicts in the community and no murder for robbery.

The "Three Haves" refer to people having houses, jobs and urban civilized lifestyle.

Da Nang authorities have adopted mechanisms and policies which help improve education and training quality, and facilitate job creation. Meanwhile, they have also paid due attention to social protection centers which care for disadvantaged groups such as orphans, lonely elder or mentally ill people and Agent Orange victims, local residents said.

"Social protection centers have been upgraded over time, and I think unlucky people there are feeling happier," Dang Thi Nhung, a student of Duy Tan University, said with her eyes twinkling with joy.

Over the past three years, Nhung and her schoolmates have brought cooked meat and rice porridge to the Da Nang Social Protection Center every Saturday.

"If seeing a beggar or a homeless person on the street, and reporting to relevant agencies, he or she may be given food and proper shelter in a certain social protection center, and we will be awarded cash. However, I haven't seen such people on the street in the last few years," Pham Sanh, a taxi driver of Vinasun company, told Xinhua.

"However, there are many poor people in hospitals, and some of them I have met frequently. Maybe they are either inpatients or homeless people," the young driver noted.

Da Nang had no poor households by the end of 2015, two years ahead of the target, according to the municipal People's Committee.

Regarding the "Five Nos," Sanh said the two targets of no drug addicts in the community and no murder for robbery have not been achieved completely.

"Drug addicts and deadly robberies still occur in our city, but their numbers are decreasing. More and more surveillance cameras are being installed along streets and in residential areas," the driver stated.

Another measure which wins the applause of local resident is leasing or selling nearly 9,000 flats to low-income earners at subsidized prices.

The monthly rental is 1 million Vietnamese dong (44 U.S. dollars) or lower, and poor families or households with wounded war veterans can enjoy 60-75 percent reduction in the rentals.

"Without the favorable flat rental policy, we couldn't have afforded a stable residence. As a Vietnamese proverb goes, 'settle down and thrive, our life is improving, our jobs are stable, and our kids' education is becoming better,'" Le Thi Van, one of 486 households, mostly poor ones in Nam Cau Cam Le tenement block in the rural district of Hoa Vang, told Xinhua on Saturday.

Nai Hien Dong ward in the urban district of Son Tra is called "tenement block street" by local residents.

Besides tenement blocks whose flats have been allocated or leased to specific families, the ward currently has two state-owned 12-story blocks whose apartments are being sold to public servants and low-income earners on a pilot basis.

"Over one year ago, we bought this apartment at a price of below 400 million Vietnamese dong (nearly 17,700 U.S. dollars), half of the market price. Its area is more than 50 square meters," Le Thi Nhu, resident of 12T1 tenement block, told Xinhua.

Before the purchase, Nhu and her husband, a teacher, and their little kids, had to live in a cramped rented house. "Our city is surely the best place to live in Vietnam," she stated.

On Oct. 28, addressing an inaugural ceremony of the International Media Center for the APEC Leaders' Week slated for Nov. 6-11, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh said: "This is a good opportunity for Da Nang in particular and our country to promote the image of a beautiful, dynamic, prosperous Vietnam and a friendly and hospitable Da Nang which deserves the title of the most livable city in the country."

Earlier, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Da Nang should keep on proving itself as a peaceful tourism city, while vowing to make breakthrough in production and high technology so as to enhance its role as a growth driver of central Vietnam.

Da Nang is the third biggest city in Vietnam in terms of economy and urbanization, after Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. In the first half of 2017, Da Nang's economy grew 8.1 percent, while the country expanded 5.73 percent, according to the General Statistics Office.

New York Times listed Da Nang as one of the "top 52 places to go" in the world in 2015.

In 2014, InterContinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort, where leaders of APEC's 21 economies will stay during the upcoming summit, was named Asia's leading luxury resort.

In 2013, U.S. magazine Forbes selected My Khe beach in Da Nang as one of the six most attractive beaches on the planet.

Meanwhile, a cable line to Ba Na Hills in the city won Guinness World Records. The line takes visitors to the peak of 1,487-meter Ba Na Hills in just 17 minutes. It can carry 3,000 passengers per hour.

The 115-meter Sun Wheel in Asian Park, is one of the 10 tallest ferris wheels in the world.

Since April 2016, Da Nang has also kept visitors interested by adopting a new policy called "Four An." In Vietnamese, they are "an ninh trat tu" -- security and order, "an toan giao thong" -- traffic safety, "an toan ve sinh thuc pham" -- food safety and hygiene, and "an sinh xa hoi" -- social security.


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