Hanoi is the sole city in Asia to be recognised as City for Peace by UNESCO thanks to the ceaseless efforts by municipal authorities and city dwellers to meet the organisation’s standards in economics, culture, education and urban development, among others.

Director of the Thang Long culture research institute Nguyen Viet Chuc made the remarks at a workshop on July 24 to review the capital’s achievements after 15 years of integration and development as well as mark the recognition and International Day of Peace (September 21).

Hanoi posted a 7.4 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in the first half of this year, a 1.5-fold increase against that of the nation, according to the municipal People’s Committee.

The city’s economy expanded by 7.4 percent in the period, driven by a 14.4 percent growth in exports. Inflows of foreign direct investment hit 583 million USD, up over 30 percent year-on-year.

Recently, the city spent over 17.1 trillion VND (around 1.1 billion USD) building new-style rural areas, which covers building infrastructure and public works, protecting landscape and environment, and promoting local traditions and cultural identities.

As a safe and attractive destination with many historical relics, Hanoi records an annual increase of over 10 percent in the number foreign holidaymakers. Last year, the city welcomed the 25 millionth overseas tourists, according to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The City for Peace recognition is not only the honour but also a challenge for the capital to promote these achievements and ease pressures from rapid urbanisation and environmental pollution, participants said.

In 1999, Hanoi was among five cities in five continents presented with the award by the UNESCO in recognition of its contributions to the struggle for peace.-VNA