Vietnam could lose foreign investment opportunities over slow reopening

By Duc Minh   September 20, 2021 | 07:07 am PT
Vietnam could lose foreign investment opportunities over slow reopening
Loi Binh Nhan Industrial Hub in the southern province of Long An. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam
Foreign business chambers warn Vietnam could lose its opportunity to compete for investment and recover its economy without taking immediate actions in reopening.

The country could miss the chance of hosting multinationals diversifying their supply chains out of China and might lag behind global economic recovery, according to the business chambers AmCham, EuroCham, KoCham and U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.

At least 20 percent of their members have shifted some manufacturing activities to another country, and more discussions are underway, they told Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and other government leaders in a petition.

Once the supply chain has been shifted, it would be difficult for these companies to return, they added.

Investment won’t increase without a clear plan for reopening and recovery. New investors’ won’t arrive without reasonable immigration policies.

They support Vietnam’s strategy to live with Covid-19 and commit to help the economy recover.

The four chambers said vaccines are key to recovery, adding that medical staff, the elderly, people with underlying conditions, manufacturing staff and delivery personnel should be prioritized.

There needs to be an app or system to ensure consistent travel between localities. There should also be a mechanism to issue "green cards" for foreigners who have been fully vaccinated.

The government should also consider the restaurant business as key to ensuring food and job security as there has been much disruptions in food supply recently.

The chambers added that now is a good time to consider reopening tourism activities in a safe and sustainable manner.

They support the government’s decision to gradually reopen tourism activities on the country’s biggest island of Phu Quoc and the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Ho Chi Minh City is gradually reopening its economy with more shippers allowed to work and relaxed shopping restrictions in some areas.

But social distancing will continue to be imposed until the end of this month.

Of nearly 8,700 Covid-19 cases Vietnam recorded Monday, some 5,200 were recorded in HCMC.

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