Vietnam to lift mask export restrictions

By Dat Nguyen   April 15, 2020 | 08:57 pm PT
Vietnam to lift mask export restrictions
Employees manufacture masks at a factory in the southern province of Long An. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Local producers can benefit from rising demand for medical masks abroad amid the Covid-19 pandemic as long as domestic demand is met.

For this to happen, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has allowed the lifting of a cap on medical mask exports, protective garments and medical equipment.

He has emphasized that such items can only be shipped to countries severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A previous government resolution had imposed an export cap of 25 percent of a company’s production.

Phuc urged the Health Ministry to quickly complete procedures for the government to make adjustments to this resolution.

There is a high demand for masks and medical equipment in many countries, and Vietnam should not miss this opportunity, he said.

The Health Ministry says there are 68 medical equipment exporters in Vietnam and the Ministry of Industry and Trade estimates that 50 of these could together produce 200 million masks a month.

Many garment companies have received orders for hundreds of millions of face masks from buyers in the U.S. and E.U.

Industry insiders said shifting from garments to masks would allow companies to keep production going and pay employees, mitigating losses caused by canceled orders, which are estimated at over $470 million.

There are around 6,800 textile businesses in Vietnam. Last year they exported goods worth $32.8 billion, up 7.8 percent year-on-year, with the U.S., the E.U. and Japan being the largest buyers.

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