US businesses in Vietnam expect less revenue courtesy of coronavirus epidemic

By Nguyen Quy   February 16, 2020 | 11:21 pm PT
US businesses in Vietnam expect less revenue courtesy of coronavirus epidemic
Workers at a company in Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
70 percent of respondents in a survey of U.S. firms in Vietnam say the Covid-19 epidemic could reduce revenues by 10 percent or less this year.

However, they said it was too early to gauge the full impact of the novel coronavirus on 2020 revenues, according to the survey by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) released last week.

More than half of manufacturing companies said they were experiencing difficulty sourcing supplies/materials due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 crisis, while one-third said current supply chain disruptions were seriously impacting their company’s global operations.

The biggest challenges facing the crisis-hit firms was inventory management, including securing alternative materials and goods, they said.

"The ongoing new coronavirus outbreak is causing anxiety and uncertainty for both people and businesses in Vietnam," said AmCham Executive Director Adam Sitkoff. "For companies and the broader economy in Vietnam, the outbreak is already a serious problem, which goes far beyond the immediately vulnerable travel, tourism, and education sectors."

Supply chain disruptions and travel restrictions are and will continue to impact many business sectors, he added.

A quarter of 650 members of AmCham participated in the survey said Vietnam’s GDP could drop by more than 1.5 percent this year while another quarter expect little or no change.

American firms in the country have taken different measures to respond to the Covid-19 epidemic.

60 percent of surveyed companies now allow staff to work from home and almost all of them offer hand sanitizer in the workplace.

One-quarter of respondents were restricting staff travel within Vietnam, while three-quarters restricted travel to some or all countries abroad.

The survey also found about 50 percent of respondents experiencing difficulties in bringing people to Vietnam from abroad, and almost 80 percent said they have cancelled or postponed meetings or events due to concerns over Covid-19 outbreak.

As of Monday morning, Covid-19 had infected 16 people in Vietnam and killed 1,775 globally.

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