Golden Time to Reactivate Economy

10:57:32 AM | 4/21/2020

The Government has made consistent decisions showing its support for businesses. Meanwhile, the business community expects enforcement will be as fast as the ongoing fight against the Covid-19 epidemic. A day sooner can revive a business; a day later may kill it.

In a press meeting about governmental solutions, Dr. Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said, the online meeting between the cabinet with localities on April 10 introduced very significant decisions that really meant to mobilize social resources for the front assigned to mitigate economic recession and maintain growth.

Businesses expect policies to come to life soon

Dr. Loc said, measures are quite well-prepared and comprehensive, with the whole political system engaged to support businesses in the spirit that protecting business is protecting the economy.

The remaining matter is how to execute those decisions quickly, transparently, consistently and systematically.

After his meetings with businesses, Dr. Loc said, businesses applauded the aggressive message by the Government, but they still felt less assured when they met enforcement officials.

“A day sooner can revive a business; a day later will kill it. The Prime Minister is aggressive, businesses are sitting on the fire; however, public authorities are still at ease somewhere,” Dr. Loc added.

In the past days, while the whole country and the business community struggled to continue operations and ensure jobs for workers, some localities still banned business operations.

The VCCI President said that the support of money, tax, fee and credit is important but it is more important to have an urgent, flexible and responsible response in terms of policies and the apparatus to add vitality to business.

“We are doing ‘health quarantine” but we have to ‘join hands in mechanism’ to truly support businesses and businesspeople,” he suggested.

Citing a specific case, Dr. Loc said that face mask production is the money spinner for companies in the time of epidemic. Vietnam’s face mask production capacity is huge, much larger than what the domestic market needs. Orders from the world are increasing rapidly. They also want to export some other items such as protective equipment or other medical supplies. Dr. Loc proposed that the opportunity for this industry to develop and export these products is substantial.

Limited resources, key is institutional reform

Representatives of the business community said that, at the business level, a decision of business leaders must be swift.

“We are in the golden time to control the epidemic and also in the golden time to support businesses to survive and overcome difficulties. If more than 50% of enterprises will not be able to survive the next 5-6 months, and 80% will hardly survive after 12 months if the plague evolves complicatedly (according to VCCI survey results), then the next 5-6 months will be surely a golden time for us to add strength to them and rescue them,” said VCCI President Vu Tien Loc.

He emphasized that adding strength by resources is definitely limited but adding it by institutions and confidence is indefinite. The business community expects that institutional reforms will be promoted in the coming months to support and act as a foundation for businesses to get through the pandemic and prepare themselves for the stage of recovery and development in the future. During the epidemic era, the focus of the Government must still be institutional reform.

The world will be different, global supply chains will be reshaped, and technology will evolve. So, preparing what is necessary and the foundation to overcome challenges and grasp the opportunity to revive the economy after the crisis is a must in the coming months.

He spoke highly of the Government’s command for reforms to clear hurdles in each sector and field. In addition to specific policies, the Government also placed emphasis on two important tasks.

The first is to focus on solutions in Government Resolution 02/NQ-CP on improving administrative procedure reform and enhancing business and investment environments. The second is to review obstacles, conflicts and institutional irrationalities, especially concerning business investment, in order to promptly resolve difficulties for enterprises. In this context, it is clear that the business environment needs to be further improved to produce good outcomes.

To have a regular coordinating mechanism to maintain growth and economic recovery to achieve the same high efficiency as in the fight against the epidemic outbreak, we need a steering committee for economic reactivation and rehabilitation led by the Government leader.

The business community expects the Government reconsiders social distancing to restore part of manufacturing and business activities, but safety must be placed atop as recommended by health authorities.

The VCCI President said, because the risk of Covid-19 infection varies widely among sectors, localities, organizations and businesses, behavioral conditions and scenarios are necessarily different accordingly. The solution is to develop a set of infection risk indicators to enable classification and application of behavioral scenarios. For example, working is strictly prohibited in a place with high risk exposure to infections (over 80%).

A place with lower risk exposure can continue manufacturing and business activity but appropriate preventive measures and risk control actions must be applied as recommended by health authorities. The Ministry of Health needs to prepare these plans to guide localities and businesses to take best actions.

Prime Minister’s Online Meeting with Businesses on Reactivation of the Economy

At the VCCI briefing session, VCCI President Vu Tien Loc said that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has decided to organize an online conference and live broadcast with the business community across the country.

The conference is expected to take place at the end of April, with the theme of “Reactivate the economy”. The event is designed to thoroughly inform the business community and authorities at all levels of policies of the Party, the National Assembly and the Government on removing difficulties and obstacles for economic recovery, while the pandemic is developing very complicatedly around the world.

After the meeting, the Government will have a resolution on action plans for central and local authorities and branches and the business community to accomplish these goals. Hundreds of thousands of businesses, officials and millions of people will participate in and watch the conference.

As assigned by the Prime Minister, VCCI will continue to gather opinions of businesses and business associations and report them to the Prime Minister at this important meeting.

Hopefully, the patriotism, the solidarity and consensus of the entire political system and of the entire people on the front against the Covid-19 pandemic in the past days will be spread and promoted to the cause of restarting and restoring the economy.

Hopefully, Vietnam - a typical success on the health front of restraining and repelling the Covid-19 - will also be a typical success in the cause of restarting and recovering the economy, where enterprises and entrepreneurs will be the pioneers on this front. We have made good use of the golden time for the health sector to fight off the epidemic, and now we will be determined to make good use of the golden time to restart and drive forward the economy.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum