HCMC FDI could suffer from prolonged social distancing

By Tat Dat   August 20, 2021 | 12:21 am PT
HCMC FDI could suffer from prolonged social distancing
A building of Intel Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of Intel Vietnam
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ho Chi Minh City might dwindle after Sept. 15 if the city continues to prolong its social distancing period, multinationals say.

Ho Thi Thu Uyen, public affairs director for Intel Vietnam, told a meeting Friday prolonging social distancing could increase the burden on companies and could channel FDI to other countries.

Intel Vietnam has seen its Covid-19 costs totaling VND140 billion ($6.13 million) between July 15 and Aug. 15, and another month of social distancing could double the figure, she said.

The company has had 86 percent of its staff vaccinated with the first vaccine dose. A total 1,870 employees are working with strict travel restrictions between its factory and their accommodation.

A spokesperson for electronics manufacturer Jabil Vietnam said many of its partners have started ordering from China and Singapore since the company is unable to fulfill its orders on time due to social distancing.

If mobility restrictions continue it would have to scale down its operations in Vietnam.

The company has to spend around VND120 billion monthly to keep its 2,500 employees safe.

It operates at under 30 percent its total capacity and therefore loses $60 million in revenue each month.

Both companies said vaccination is the best solution.

Jabil Vietnam wants HCMC authorities to be more flexible in their vaccination policy, allowing it to pay for or source vaccines from its parent.

The company also wants a "vaccine passport" to separate those who have been vaccinated.

Two hundred of its staff have received two doses but are still being treated as unvaccinated.

Uyen of Intel Vietnam said with the second dose its employees will be classified "green" workers and could increase productivity in the rest of the year to make up for its losses.

The company said it is willing to provide transport to keep its workers safe. It also wants permission to increase working hours to fulfill delayed orders.

HCMC has recorded 164,300 Covid-19 cases since the end of April.

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