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VLA together with enterprises fights COVID-19

(VLR) Responding the call from the government in preventing and fighting against the outbreak of COVID-19, Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA) has had some suggestions and solutions to join hand with the logistics community to overcome difficulties caused by the outbreak of COVID-19

On March 11th, VLA’s office sent the document no.14/VP-HH to the Prime Minister to suggest supporting logistics service providers suffered from the pandemic of COVID-19. And on March 25th, VLA has had a report to the Meeting of the PM’s Working Group about difficulties and obstacles and ask the PM for solving solutions. Besides, VLA also had on-time information and consult its member to build up the Business Continuity Planning to ensure work on progress and to prevent disease infection as well.

Assisting and removing difficulties for logistics enterprises

VLA asked logistics service enterprises to support agriculture importers- exporters in solving problems of exporting agricultural products to China, to support super market enterprises and local distributors by reducing fee from 10% - 20% for cold warehouses and reducing transport fees, and to work with importers- exporters to solve difficulties in business and exchange logistics information serving production and import-export.

VLA had some suggestions of reducing logistics fees to support producers and importers- exporters to improve their competition abilities: from reducing service fees for enterprises operating in the field of transport as fees of road, BOT, ports and other fees in seaports, airports and fuel price for trucks, sea vessels, planes to having solutions to reduce fees for goods circulation, which helps production enterprises, importers- exporters and logistics service providers in the difficult time.

According to logistics service providers’ foreign agencies, from June 30th, China temporarily removed fees for using expressways and other roads nationwide. And from March 1st to June 30th, transportation fee and storage at ports managed by China’s Government will be reduced 20%. Above fees related to emergency response services and normal vessels (not transporting fuel) will be completely removed. Besides, enterprises are allowed to extend enterprise income tax, value added tax, social insurance fee, land lease and to exempt for late tax payment. If possible, 50% of enterprises income tax in 2019 will be reduced. It is a part of assistance to help enterprises to overcome business difficulties in 2020.

The National Bank should consider reducing basic interest rate. Commercial banks should freeze debt, reschedule, reduce loan interest, extend loan limit and restructure loans to enterprises operating in the field of logistics who have been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, in accordance to their particular suggestions.

Reduce electricity fee for enterprises operating in fields of cold warehousing, cool warehousing serving export and distribution. Fees for cold and cool warehousing should be equal to that of production enterprises’- it is 25% - 30% higher now.

The government should provide enterprises with on-time accurate information and the Government’s economic plans so that logistics service providers can cooperate with production enterprises and importers- exporters to provide efficient and on-time logistics services.

In the long-term, VLA asks the Government to have active measurements to develop infrastructure, especially deep-water ports, increase the number of oversea routes to avoid being dependent on China’s transport and develop railroad transport. Besides the Government is asked to have guidance to connect other ASEAN countries through Laos and Thailand to compensate the shortage from cargo transportation from China and to ask for enterprises’ ideas about cross-border cargo transport to Cambodia.

Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

Besides providing quick information every two weeks and a monthly newsletter, VLA has consulted its members to set up Business Continuity Planning in the situation the outbreak of COVID-19 has become unpredictable and caused great damages worldwide. The planning helps to reduce risks that affect enterprises’ operation in time of natural disaster or diseases.

Maintaining 50% of staff to ensure the business. A group working in the company or office: 50%; a group working outside the main office, 25% of the rest of the staff and computers are moved to the office no.2 (a standby office) and a group working at home: 25% of the staff.

BCP has basic principles in working time and out of working time. In working time, enterprises should protect its members from risks of being affected (from other infected people and things): before getting into contact, there should be steps as body temperature check or anti-bacteria spraying. Besides working time, workers should have an awareness of protecting themselves, that also means protecting their own family and protecting their offices. They should avoid contact with others outside or contact with protection measurements (wearing masks, or using anti-bacteria gel…). Propaganda works should be improved as well.

When facing the risk that the office is isolated due to F1 or F2 infection, members should apply BCP: isolating the working office, working materials (computers, software, papers, transaction….) and their accommodation. Their agents will work at home, instead of working in the offices.

Quang Anh

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