Gov’t vows to address obstacles faced by businesses amid COVID-19 spike
20:20 | 20/09/2021
VGP – Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh on Monday chaired a meeting with leaders of 28 cities and provinces, and representatives of businesses, including foreign-invested enterprises.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh chairs a meeting with leaders of 28 cities and provinces, and representatives of businesses, including foreign-invested enterprises, to seek ways to handle obstacles faced by enterprises, especially issues related to circulation of goods. Photo: VGP

In his opening remarks, Deputy PM Le said the meeting aims to seek ways to handle obstacles faced by enterprises, especially issues related to circulation of goods.

He urged localities to focus discussion on how they would coordinate in ensuring smooth circulation of goods.

Viet Nam houses 291 industrial parks with the coverage rate of 71 percent, according to Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment.

In the first eight months, coastal industrial parks and economic zones lured US$8.1 billion in investment capital. The total export value of enterprises was estimated at US$100.7 billion, accounting for 47.5 percent of the country’s export volume, creating direct jobs for nearly four million people, Nguyen said.

She also said the ministry has coordinated the Viet Nam Business Forum to conduct a survey on 500 foreign-funded companies in Viet Nam to identify their difficulties in the current COVID-19 time and found that nearly 50 percent of them have heavily affected by the pandemic.

The difficulties include high transportation costs and costs for maintenance of three-on-spot production.

A representative from Ho Chi Minh City-based Nidec Viet Nam suggested once a business be allowed to resume production, it should not be ordered to shut down the whole factory when a worker tests positive for the virus. The representative also asked authorities to create favorable conditions for movement of workers between localities.

Meanwhile, a representative from Nike Viet Nam said once a worker tests positive for COVID-19, only production line should be closed instead of the whole factory.

A representative from Unilever Viet Nam suggested the Government step up vaccination for industrial workers while a representative from Samsung Thai Nguyen suggested workers who have taken two vaccine doses should be allowed to travel from home to the workplace by the company’s busses.

Foreign business representatives from Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong and Kien Giang expected the Government to further simplify procedures for foreign experts to enter Viet Nam.

In reply to the businesses’ concerns, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Vu affirmed entry procedures for foreign experts have been streamlined and time required for mandatory quarantine was shortened to seven days instead of 14 days.

Viet Nam has recognized vaccination certificates issued by at least 60 countries and plans to allow more foreigners to enter the country, said the Deputy Foreign Minister.

Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho said there have been no major obstacles against circulation of goods as the ministry discussed this issue with provincial Department of Transport twice a week.

Regarding Government support for businesses, Deputy Minister of Finance Vu Thi Mai said the National Assembly Standing Committee approved a package on tax reduction and exemption. The Ministry of Finance is drafting a Decree guiding the implementation of the package to submit to the Government for approval.

The local leaders to the meeting pledged to hold dialogues with businesses to provide necessary assistance and support help them overcome difficulties caused by the pandemic and restore production.

Hoang Van Hoan, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Municipal People’s Committee said the southern metropolis has set up a working group to assist businesses.

The city will work with other nearby localities like Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau to facilitate circulation of goods and movement of workers and experts.

Concluding the meeting, Deputy PM Le underlined the importance of industrial parks and clusters.

He pledged that the Government and the Prime Minister will stand side by side with the business community to quickly restore and stabilize production.

From now on, the Government will convene meeting with ministries, localities and businesses once a month to learn about and timely address obstacles faced by the business community.

The Government, localities, and businesses share the same wish to quickly restore production but it can only be achieved with close and smooth coordination, Le stressed.

He tasked the Ministry of Health to renew vaccine allocation plan that gives priority to giving vaccines to industrial workers.

The Ministry of Transport was asked to coordinate with the Ministry of Health and localities in issue instructions for movement of workers between localities.

Deputy PM Le affirmed that the Government is attentive to issues raised by the business community and vows to settle obstacles facing businesses./.

By Huong Giang

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