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Reopening the economy: Safe adation to the epidemic in need

(VLR) To achieve the planned targets of 2021 to highest level, the highest priority should be given to epidemic control and gradually restore production and business activities at the same time in places safe from the epidemic - Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

To achieve the planned targets of 2021 to highest level, the highest priority should be given to epidemic control and gradually restore production and business activities at the same time in places safe from the epidemic

To achieve the planned targets of 2021 to highest level, the highest priority should be given to epidemic control and gradually restore production and business activities at the same time in places safe from the epidemic

Impacts from prolonging social distancing

The pandemic of COVID-19 with its new variant has had high speed of infection and broken out in large scale in many cities and provinces, especially HCMC and Southern provinces. The number of people infected has been high and socio-economic activities have been seriously affected.

According to WB’s reported announced on August 24, 2021, Vietnam’s GDP was forecast to increase about 4.8% in 2021. The forecast is two percentage points lower than the previous WB’s forecast on December 2020. WB also gave a comment: “Is it possible for Vietnam to recover its economy in the second half of 2021? It depends on result of COVID-19 epidemic control now and vaccination deployment and fiscal measures to support enterprises and households as recovery stimulations”.

However, Rahul Kitchlu- World Bank's Acting Country Director for Vietnam- still gave Vietnam’s economy an optimistic look: “Although downside risks have increased, the fundamental factors of Vietnam’s economy are firm and the economy is able to return to its pre-pandemic GDP growth rates of between 6.5% - 7% from 2022 onwards”.

Thanks to the close directions from the Government, sectors and the consensus of the people, the pandemic has also been gradually controlled. The Resolution 107/NQ-CP dated September 11, 2021 from the Government's regular meeting in August 2021, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed that in the first 8 months of 2021, our country's macroeconomic has still maintained stable, controlled inflation, the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) in 8 months increased by 1.79% over the same period- the lowest since 2016. Markets of currency, credit and foreign exchange are basically stable; interest rates keep going down.

Although budget revenue in recent months has tended to decrease due to impacts from the epidemic, in general, in 8 months, it reached nearly 75% of the estimate- an increase of over 14% year-over-year, ensuring expenditure tasks, especially for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic and to support the people. Total import and export turnover of goods in 8 months increased by 27.2% (export increased by 21.2%). The domestic market has been focused: E-trade and non-cash payment are likely to develop…

However, besides the achieved results, we have been facing many difficulties and challenges. Many localities have to prolong the distancing, which seriously affects people's lives, disrupts many socio-economic activities and enterprises’ production business activities. And the number of newly established enterprise is going down…

Unable to keep the door shut longer

Regulations that obstruct traffic and goods circulation to be abolished or stopped

The Ministry of Transport, together with agencies and localities, strictly implements the Prime Minister’s directions on traffic and goods circulation nationwide, ensuring smooth implementations in COVID-19 prevention, solving arising obstacles and removing inappropriate regulations obstructing traffic and goods circulation; in case of necessity, it should be reported to PM for implementation directions and public announcement. Deputy PM Le Van Thanh was assigned to give direct directions.

(Excerpt from Resolution 107/NQ-CP of the Government dated September 11, 2021)

A WHO’s official said: “COVID-19 is likely to be an “inevitable part’ of the world in the context that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that keeps evolving in countries where their people have not been vaccinated or have had low vaccination rates. Previous hopes of a complete eradication of the pandemic have gone”.

The current matter to our country is "reopening the economy". Many domestic experts believe that reopening the economy is necessary, but how to open it without any impacts on the people’s safety and business stability is a matter of concern.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has repeatedly emphasized that Vietnam cannot stay closed longer, it has to reopen gradually, while flexibly implementing distancing measures. This is a good signal for the benefit of businesses, employees in particular and the country in general. "We really want Vietnam to be able to reopen because the economy is suffering a lot of damage due to the pandemic".

Under the direction from PM, to return to the new normality soon, the Ministry of Health should urgently complete the overall strategy on epidemic prevention and control: focusing on vaccination coverage, and improving the system's capacity and response, especially testing and treatment... The Prime Minister affirmed that it is necessary to ensure maintenance of production, supply chain and circulation of goods in addition to epidemic prevention measures. In the coming time, development of the pharmaceutical industry will be promoted and strengthened to improve their capacity to protect the people's health.

Implementations of measures to loosen and restore social activities should follow principles of reopening with a step by step controlled roadmap, and continuous assessment, avoiding haste to have appropriate adjustments in time, on the principles of safe production and good control of the epidemic.

Keep accompanying with enterprises

At a meeting with Ambassadors of other countries and representatives of foreign investors in Vietnam to support and remove difficulties for the business community in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic on the afternoon of September 14, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed that the Vietnamese Government will continue to listen with a spirit of responsibility to proposals and recommendations from the business community and be ready to respond when conditions allow. Vietnam has been and will continue to accompany businesses to strengthen trust, develop production and business, and overcome the current difficult period. PM said the Government of Vietnam has directed developing scenario for safe adaptation to the epidemic in all circumstances, based on reference to international experiences.

Keep accompanying with enterprises

Keep accompanying with enterprises

Previously, on September 9, 2021, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh signed and promulgated the Resolution no. 105/NQ-CP on supporting businesses, cooperatives and business households in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic. The goal of the Resolution is to focus on restoring and developing production and business activities of enterprises, cooperatives and business households in association with ensuring safety in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic.

In the resolution, the Government issued 4 groups of tasks and solutions to remove difficulties for businesses in order to "keep accompanying the business community, cooperatives and business households on the principle that particular authorities remove difficulties and obstacles of their own levels. In addition, personal responsibilities should be promoted; violation handling, and authority exceeding should be reported to higher level for consideration and solving them “soonest and the most effectively” to reduce damages, negative impacts to enterprises, cooperatives, business households and people”.

Tran Trinh Lam

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