Enterprises seek more than financial aid for Covid-19 recovery

May 9, 2020 | 05:00 pm PT
Vietnamese enterprises are asking for both financial support and administrative reforms to aid their recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, the government says.

"Eighty percent of businesses believe that the government's solutions are appropriate and timely. However, they expect stronger actions," Planning and Investment Minister Nguyen Chi Dung said at a recent meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and businesses.

"The recommendations went beyond financial aid packages to further simplification of administrative procedures, greater transparency and clarity in policies, and more righteousness and positive attitude from enforcement officials."

Minister of Planning and Investment, Nguyen Chi Dung. Photo by VnExpress/Quang Hieu.

Minister of Planning and Investment, Nguyen Chi Dung. Photo by VnExpress/Quang Hieu.

Dung’s assessment was backed by surveys conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

"When asked about their needs, large enterprises answer that they do not ask for money as the country is struggling, but (for better) mechanisms," said VCCI chairman Vu Tien Loc.

Loc explaind "mechanisms" as solutions to remove bottlenecks in administrative procedures, promoting public investment and implementing measures to "release the economic front."

He said public investment would generate momentum for economy recovery and create jobs alongside private investment and foreign direct investment.

If the bottlenecks are removed and due public investments made, "there is no reason that we cannot reach (the targeted) GDP growth rate of over 5 percent," Loc noted at the meeting.

Ông Vũ Tiến Lộc, Chủ tịch VCCI, tại hội nghị sáng 9/5. Ảnh:Quang Hiếu.

Vu Tien Loc, VCCI's chairman at a May 9 conference in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Quang Hieu.

A rapid survey of nearly 130,000 businesses by VCCI showed 86 percent saying they were negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. An average 30 percent year-on-year drop in revenue was seen in the first four months.

The business community reported a double whammy of a shortage of input materials and a sharp decrease in the output market.

The survey also found that businesses have been proactive with survival measures including applying flexible working hours, cutting production costs, and looking for alternative markets.

Minister Dung said that the disruption in supply chains and value chains would continue to exert greater post-crisis impacts. For instance, mergers and acquisitions could put Vietnamese businesses with potential in danger of being acquired at low prices.

However, he added: "This is an opportunity for Vietnam to show ourselves to the world as an advantageous, safe investment destination ready to welcome shifting capital flows. These special advantages can push Vietnam one step ahead towards economic recovery and establish a new (stronger) position for itself."

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