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Da Nang Is 'Vietnam’s Singapore': Bloomberg

A recent article in the Bloomberg paints a very rosy picture of Da Nang, going as far as to call it “Vietnam’s Singapore,” due to its good governance, business-friendly policies, strong IT backbone and modern infrastructure.


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The last decade has been one of rapid but well planned development for the city that was once a major American military installation. These days, Da Nang welcomes investors with open arms and a bright business landscape, “ranking at or near the top of the Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index for good governance and business-friendly policies since 2007.”

While more money has been directed to infrastructure projects in Hanoi and Saigon over the past five years, Da Nang seems to have put its 2010 - 2015 US$4.5 billion infrastructure stipend (up from US$1.7 billion compared to the previous five years) to good use, according to the paper.

“About $60 million went into a new airport terminal, $88 million on the striking, sail-shaped city hall and $93 million on a three-level overpass. IBM’s system provides real-time updates on bus routes and monitors water quality, while 300 kilometers (186 miles) of fiber-optic cable installed by Cisco Systems Inc. connects all the government offices,” it wrote.

Photo via KnG Đà Nẵng.

Instead of using the Chinese “growth-at-any-price” development model, Da Nang has taken a more balanced approach to accommodate an expected influx of 1 million additional residents by 2020.

“Da Nang [sic] doesn’t blindly compete to attract everything,” said Edmund Malesky, an associate professor of political economy at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and the lead researcher for the competitiveness index. “So dirty manufacturing plants don’t end up next to agricultural land.”

“We are a little picky,” Huynh Van Thanh, vice director of Da Nang’s Department of Planning and Investment told Bloomberg.

In the end, the city's economic prowess may be tied to ease of doing business.

“Da Nang [sic] is miles ahead of everyone else as a leader in being proactive in encouraging foreign investment,” said Saigon-based David Blackhall, managing director of VinaCapital Real Estate Co. “If you need to modify or change a plan, it could take years in most places in Vietnam. In Da Nang, it happens in weeks.”

[Top Photo via KnG Đà Nẵng]

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