Reengaging with Members in Vietnam

In April, CityNet Chief Executive Officer Jeong-kee Kim undertook a successful outreach tour in Vietnam and Cambodia to meet longstanding CityNet members. The cities in the region were all keen to reignite their membership in CityNet through new city-to-city activities and by formulating plans to host joint events.

First, CEO Kim touched down in coastal Da Nang in Central Vietnam, the host city for the 2018 CityNet Executive Committee Meeting. Vice Chairman Tran Chi Cuong shared the vision of Da Nang city to become a hub of innovation and engine of growth for Central Vietnam. The city is advancing in many key sectors including ecology, smart technology, ports, tourism, and even agriculture. Da Nang has been a frequent partner with CityNet President Emeritus Yokohama City in its sustainable development success, particularly in the areas of SDGs and port development.

Next, CEO Kim met with a network of stakeholders in Hanoi. He first met with Vu Dang Dinh, the Party Secretary and Chairman of Hoan Kiem District People’s Council. As a former official within the Hanoi International Relations Department, Vu showed great interest in working with other cities in the region through CityNet. Hoan Kiem District is the main historical district of Hanoi and its political center. They are interested in leveraging the SDGs to improve the quality of life for local residents and foreign visitors. The district was a recipient of a CityNet-ESCAP SDG City Award in 2022 for the Phuc Tan Public Art Project which utilized waste items creatively to make public art and clean up the public space alongside the Red River. As a result of winning the award, the district was able to acquire more funds for the project to scale it up in other key neighborhoods. Another meeting in Hoan Kiem was also led by Phan Tuan Long, the District Chairman and Pham Van Bo, Vice President of CityNet Member the Academy of Managers for Construction and Cities (AMC).

CEO Kim paid a visit to Vice President Pham Van Bo at the Academy to scope out its facilities for domestic and international trainings. AMC is an entity under the Vietnamese Ministry of Construction and its network covers 63 Vietnamese provinces. They regularly host trainings for city government officials on in-demand topics like smart city technology implementation, transportation policy, and waste management. Recently, they opened a Vietnam – Korea Smart City Center with help from KI-CITY. In the near future there is potential for CityNet to organize trainings for Vietnamese city officials and other CityNet members at the AMC training institute.

A meeting was also held with the General Secretary of the Association of Cities of Vietnam (ACVN), Dr. Ngo Trung Hai. As a partner organization with CityNet, ACVN pledged to promote CityNet’s regional activities with its 125 city members in Vietnam. ACVN has recently seen much success in organizing international study visits by partnering with international organizations which have led to technological and quality of life upgrades in Vietnamese cities.

In the meantime, Secretariat Officer Chris DiGennaro paid a courtesy visit to Hai Phong City’s Director of International Cooperation, Nguyen Thi Bich Dung. Hai Phong’s stature as a leading city is growing in Vietnam and they are very keen to host a gathering of CityNet members in the coming years. The city is currently engaged with several sister city relationships with Korean CityNet Members such as Incheon Metropolitan City.

In another leg of the journey in Vietnam’s South, CEO Kim met with Ho Chi Minh City Vice Chairman Vo Voan Hoan. Ho Chi Minh City committed to its role as one of the founding member cities of CityNet. Ho Chi Minh City regularly organizes Friendship Dialogs with other cities in the region and in this capacity, they pledged to engage more actively with other member cities to promote regional knowledge sharing. It seems promising that CityNet members can expect upcoming meetings to be held in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Secretariat greatly looks forward to upcoming contributions from CityNet members in Vietnam and Cambodia.

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