AmCham Vietnam Executive Director Mary Tarnowka stated, “AmCham Vietnam members are getting back to business and are optimistic about Vietnam’s future. Vietnam’s impressive vaccine rollout is enabling a safe reopening and recovery. More consistent policies throughout the country to adjust to living safely with the virus will be key to a resilient rebound. Liberalizing requirements for international travel of foreign experts will enable expansion plans of businesses already in Vietnam, as well as attract new investment.”
According to AmCham Vietnam’s November 15-17, 2021 survey, our members are optimistic about prospects for reopening, recovery, and rebound in Vietnam. More than 60% of members surveyed already are back to operating at 80% of normal capacity or above, with 85% operating at 60% or more of normal. For those not yet at normal capacity, 25% expect to return to 100% by year-end, with more than 60% expecting to be back to normal by Q1 2022, and over 90% by Q2. Almost 80% of AmCham Vietnam members surveyed were very positive or positive in your medium to long-term outlook about Vietnam and planned or were considering investing more.
Interestingly, international travel restrictions were the key factor limiting operations now, followed by supply chain disruptions and costs. For those experiencing labor shortages, schools being closed and parents struggling with managing work and online learning, cited by 56% of respondents, was almost as important a factor as workers returning to home provinces, cited by 57%. Flexible work schedules, offered by 80% of respondents, were the key action being taken by companies to attract workers back and retain them, followed by 53% assuring access to vaccine first and second doses for their workers. Almost 80% of respondents recommended Central or provincial governments assure vaccine access to bring workers back, while 61% also recommended streamlining procedures for foreign experts.
Many of our members surveyed shared concerns about F0/F1 policies, with the top concern cited by nearly 80% of respondents being inconsistency of policies among provinces. Required quarantining or isolation of F1s, even when fully-vaxed, asymptomatic, and with negative tests, was a concern cited by 61% of respondents, with 60% also expressing concern about requirements for central quarantining of fully-vaxed, asymptomatic F0s.
More than 90% of members surveyed said that 80% or more of your workforce had been vaccinated. More vaccines and herd immunity were also seen as key elements of a roadmap for a rebound, cited by 83%, but the top issue, cited by 92%, was ‘consistent policies throughout the country to allow “living safely with the virus” versus “chasing zero”.’ Streamlined procedures for foreign expert approvals and travel was cited by more than 70% of respondents.
Key elements of a roadmap for sustainable growth included administrative reforms that streamline regulations and promote transparency, cited by 80%, which was followed closely by investment in energy and transportation infrastructure for sustainable growth and continued investment in education and training for a globally competitive workforce, cited by 72% and 70% of respondents, respectively.
As the year-end approaches, the most pressing concern of our survey respondents and their families was not being able to travel internationally or have family visit for the holidays, cited by 65% of respondents, followed closely by concerns about quality of care if you or a family member developed serious symptoms (63%).
According to survey respondents, the most valuable service AmCham can offer to you now is advocacy, cited by 78%, followed by Committee meetings where you can share best practices and obtain industry and regulatory updates (60%), and periodic expert briefings on the COVID-19 situation (58%).
Ho Chi Minh City was the top-ranked province in terms of its reopening and recovery at 3.6/5-point scale, with Hanoi 2nd at 3.5, and Hai Phong & Bac Ninh tied for third at 3.4.
AmCham Vietnam’s flash survey was conducted between November 15-17 with over 550 corporate members and 2000 individual representatives of AmCham Vietnam, including its Da Nang branch. There were over 130 respondents, more than half representing CEO or General Manager/Country Manager members. AmCham Vietnam values your feedback, which informs our advocacy, events, and other support. Please contact [email protected] to let us know how we can serve you better!