AmCham Vietnam Supports Local Business – AmCham 2020 Discount Partner Program

We know many businesses in Ho Chi Minh City and throughout Vietnam are struggling, due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. And we know the impact of the outbreak has been particularly hard on small, local businesses.

We at AmCham want to support local businesses which contribute so much to our quality of life in Vietnam by inviting them to join our 2020 AmCham Discount Partnership Program. Please consider joining for your company or refer a favorite local business by sending their email address or a copy of their business card to Membership Manager Sam Hoang at  [email protected]

Companies can choose what level discount or special offer they provide. We just ask that they follow “Most Favored Association” treatment and provide us at least the same percentage discount or special offer that they may already provide other local associations. In return, we will promote our AmCham Discount Partners businesses and encourage our members to become their regular customers as described below:

What is the 2020 AmCham Discount Partnership Program?

✓    A program in which partner businesses promote their business by offering a special discount to more than  1500 AmCham top-profile individuals  who are representatives of over  500 AmCham Company Members.

Why join?

✓   As part of our #AmChamVietnamHCMC #supportlocalbusiness campaign, we will feature select partner businesses on our Facebook page and website

✓    Your company will be promoted widely to all AmCham members, partners, and website subscribers.

✓    Discount offers are  free  to be listed in our AmCham Discount Partner Handbook on our website at  LINK  (our website has over 180,000 visitors/year and 500,000 views/year).
✓   Your business can enjoy member rates when booking advertisements on our  Member Discount OnlineWeekly Update Email  and  eBlast Email .

✓   Your special promotion programs can be published on AmCham’s website    LINK

How to join?

✓   Fill in the  Participation Form   HERE .

✓   Book an Advertisement on Discount ONLINE ( Optional ):  REGISTER HERE

If have any questions regarding our program, please contact Membership Manager Sam Hoang at [email protected]

We value and want to support our local businesses!

AmCham Awarded Certificate of Merit for Contributions to the Revised Labor Code Adoption

AmCham Vietnam was awarded the Certificate of Merit for its contributions, led and coordinated by AmCham’s Human Resources (HR) Committee, to the stakeholders’ consultation process of the Revised Labor Code. Mr. Trung Pham, Advocacy Lead of the HR Committee, represented AmCham’s HR Committee to receive the Certificate from Mr. Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of VCCI.  This award was presented during a meeting organized by VCCI together with other Chambers in Hanoi on March 4.

The meeting also sought the establishment of the Special Task Force Group to develop plans and provide opinions from the employers’ side on various Decrees and Circulars, which will soon be issued to implement the Revised Labor Code. VCCI will lead the Special Task Force Group with the participation of business associations including JCCI, VITAS, LEFACO, VEIA, VASEP and AmCham.

Congratulations to the AmCham HR Committee for this recognition of its significant advocacy efforts on the Revised Labor Code- an issue impacting our many of our members.

Survey: The Business Impact of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Outbreak

AmCham Vietnam-HCMC launched a 36-hour flash survey of its members from February 18-20 to measure the business impact in Vietnam of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Over 170 AmCham Vietnam-HCMC members participated; 140 responded to the manufacturing survey questions. Key takeaways below:

More concerned now about economic than health impact: While the overwhelming majority of AmCham members are concerned about both health and economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak in Vietnam, almost 50% are extremely concerned about the economic impact, whereas 25% were extremely concerned about the health impact.

Health Protocols in Workplace: About 90% of members focused on good hygiene, particularly handwashing, and providing hand sanitizer, with 70% also focused on through surface cleaning. More than 75% encouraged employees to stay home if sick or had a sick family member, with 38% allowing optional work from home. About 50% provided links for healthcare updates and/or advice from healthcare providers.

Projected 2020 revenue down: Over 60% expect lower 2020 revenues (with another 28% unable to estimate the impact). One-third expected between 10-20+% decreases.

Expect Vietnam’s 2020 GDP to Drop at least 1%: Almost 3/4 of members expect a negative impact, with half expecting more than a 1% drop.

Biggest challenges: decreased demand, supply chain/logistics issues, cash flow.

Manufacturing Sector: Production Down: About 70% of members in the manufacturing sector currently are operating at or above 70% of normal capacity and 17% are operating between 50- 70%. 13% are operating below 50% of normal capacity.

Supply Chain Disruption Key: Almost 35% of manufacturing sector members report global operations already are “seriously impacted” by supply chain disruptions. An additional 40% expect serious impact on global operations if supply chain disruptions continue for another month.

Travel restrictions in place/meetings and events canceled: Almost half of members have travel restrictions in place for domestic travel with 60% having restrictions on international travel. Almost 70% of members have canceled or postponed meetings or events, while over 40% report difficulty getting people to Vietnam.

School re-opening supported, particularly for international schools: About 2/3 of members believe that, based on publicly available information, schools in HCMC/Hanoi should reopen, and should not continue to stay closed another 6 weeks through the end of March, citing the negative impacts to families and business operations from prolonged school closure, and the effect on the business climate.

Colleges fear longer-term impacts from the coronavirus

Security guards wore hazmat suits as they checked the temperature of arriving customers at a shopping mall in Beijing on Thursday.Security guards wore hazmat suits as they checked the temperature of arriving customers at a shopping mall in Beijing on Thursday.GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images

Colleges and universities are bracing for significant disruptions to their day-to-day operations from the coronavirus that could affect how they teach, what programs they offer in the summer, and how many international students enroll on campus in the fall.

On Thursday, Harvard University announced that it had barred all travel by students and faculty to mainland China and South Korea, except in rare circumstances approved by its top leadership.

Northeastern University asked its faculty and staff to fill out a survey on how they would work remotely, if necessary, so that officials could plan for technology needs. Northeastern also told its faculty to start preparing to teach classes online, in case classroom teaching has to be halted.

“The time to prepare is now,” Kenneth W. Henderson, Northeastern’s chancellor and senior vice president for learning, wrote to faculty and staff in a message Thursday. “The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak requires Northeastern University to be prepared and resilient to ensure learning and business continuity in the event that students, faculty and staff may not be able to come to campus or attend classes in person.”

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There is also growing fear at many institutions that as a result of the near lockdown in some parts of China, there may be fewer Chinese students prepared to come to the United States in the fall. US colleges and universities are in the midst of their admissions cycle and will soon be locking in students for the next school year, but they may not have the crucial English-language tests from Chinese students to determine if they are qualified. In China, large-scale testing has been postponed due to concerns that the virus would more easily spread when groups congregate.

Additionally, recruiters who help US colleges find international students have reported consulting with fewer students in China in recent weeks and expect to see a decline of those studying abroad.

China, by far, sends the largest share of international students to American colleges and universities, nearly 370,000 students in the 2018-19 school year.

“There’s a lot of hand-wringing because we just don’t know the future,” said Ben Waxman, the chief executive officer of International Education Advantage, a Boston-area marketing firm that helps academic institutions with their international branding.

Waxman expects that US universities will see some dampening in their international enrollments this fall, but they may take a more significant financial hit if quarantines in China last several more months and the virus spreads further across the globe.

“The reliance on one source for a large chunk of your students has always been something people have warned about,” Waxman said. “A virus was not on my radar, on why you shouldn’t rely on one country.”

Some colleges are developing backup plans, said Tom Dretler, the cofounder of Shorelight Education, a Boston-based company that helps recruit and manage the first-year international student experience for 22 US universities, including University of Massachusetts campuses, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California Berkeley.

Some institutions are waiving the traditional, standardized Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, and opting for newer, online proficiency tests, Dretler said.

Other universities are also planning to offer international students online classes for the first year, in case they can’t travel to the United States, he said.

Universities that “don’t have a contingency plan, they certainly are susceptible to a financial hit,” Dretler said. “If there’s no plan B, there’s no insurance policy.”

International students spend $43 billion annually in the United States, more than half in tuition, so the financial risk is significant, he said.

But Chuck Staben, the former president of the University of Idaho, said he worries that many universities are not doing enough planning to prepare for a situation in which students on campus may need to be quarantined, classes may have to be canceled, and international students may not be able to go home for spring break or over summer vacation.

“We often find ourselves underprepared in emergencies,” said Staben, who recently wrote a a column on the topic for an industry publication. “They’re waiting to see how it plays out. . . . It could be a bigger deal. What we’re seeing in China is months of disruption.”

Most universities have been focused on their study-abroad students. Some have canceled their programs in Italy and South Korea, or have offered to bring students who are concerned about their safety back to the United States.

UMass Amherst, the state’s flagship public university, has canceled or suspended its study abroad programs in China and South Korea and on Thursday urged students to be careful about traveling internationally for spring break.

Emerson College warned its students and faculty against nonessential travel to China and South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan, and asked the community to inform the school of any international travel plans.

A handful of universities nationwide have taken out insurance policies in recent years specifically to protect them from a significant drop in Chinese students. Concerns about US visa restrictions, a trade war with China, and a potential health scare led the University of Illinois’s Gies College of Business to purchase an insurance policy.

The policy, which has been in place since 2017, kicks in if the number of Chinese students drops by 18 percent. The school has never had to use it, said Jeffrey R. Brown, the school’s dean.

“But we are keeping an eye on it due to travel restrictions,” Brown said. The business school is looking at delayed start dates for students, test waivers, and online capabilities, he said.

“It is absolutely not too early to be thinking about it because any contingency plan requires time to implement,” he said. “Even if the risk is low, it is worth preparing.”

Ultimately, the virus has the potential to change the way higher education is delivered across the globe, Dretler said. In China, where online learning has been slower to take off, more students and their families are now asking for the option.

 

Source: Boston Globe
Colleges fear longer-term impacts from the coronavirus

Coronavirus: Vietnam lured factories during trade war, but now faces big hit as parts from China stop flowing

Supply chains are complex, and despite Vietnam’s tariff-induced windfall, companies are now finding out how difficult it is to wean themselves off China. Photo: Reuters

A quick glance at the accounts of his 10,000-person packaging factory in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi tells Stuart Donegan that the “big wave is coming”.

In addition to its Hanoi site, Donegan’s company, Sino Manufacturing, employs 1,500 at a plant in Ho Chi Minh City in the south of Vietnam, while three other factories in China and Indonesia make packaging for electronic goods, working with two of the world’s five biggest electronics firms.

But with component manufacturing in China – where many of the parts for assembly lines around the world are made – still in varying degrees of shutdown, many factories in Vietnam are expected to run out of parts over the coming weeks and months.

“If companies like Flextronics and Apple cannot produce products, then they do not need packaging,” Donegan said. “February numbers at my company will be a disaster. We want to get back on track for May or June, but it is uncertain at the moment. We do not have to make lay-offs for a while, we will see where we are at the end of March, but it is all depending on factories reopening in China.”

Coronavirus: New cases outside China outnumber those inside for first time since start of epidemic

Along with the dragon fruit and papaya rotting in the sun because of closures along the country’s northern border with China, the apparel factories who cannot get fabrics out of Guangdong, and the electronics assembly lines blazing through components without being able to source replacements, Donegan’s example helps illustrate the massive hit Vietnam is set to take from the coronavirus epidemic that is ransacking Asian supply chains.

And while many remain bullish over the long-term prospects for an economy that has become a poster child for the post-trade war manufacturing exodus from China, its continued reliance on its giant neighbour to the north means a succession of virus-induced gut punches are going to be particularly painful in the short-run.
Supply chains are complex, and despite Vietnam’s tariff-induced windfall, companies are now finding out how difficult it is to wean themselves off China.

Northeast Asia’s exposure to mainland China and Southeast Asia through investments means that the supply chain impact on Vietnam is felt heavily by major Northeast Asia corporations such as Samsung and Sony

Trinh Nguyen

On top of that, South Korean firms such as Samsung and LG have also invested massively in Vietnamese manufacturing over the past decade, with intricate clusters of smaller component manufacturers popping up around them. As well as a blanket ban on flights from China, Vietnam has had to issue targeted travel bans for parts of South Korea, where coronavirus cases have been skyrocketing.

“Northeast Asia’s exposure to mainland China and Southeast Asia through investments means that the supply chain impact on Vietnam is felt heavily by major Northeast Asia corporations such as Samsung and Sony,” wrote Hong Kong-based economist Trinh Nguyen in a paper for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace this week.

Nguyen estimated that 17 per cent of Vietnam’s total economy is exposed to trade with China, higher than any other country in the region.

Logistics insiders suggest that one of Samsung Electronics’ giant Vietnamese smartphone factories is running at between 50 and 80 per cent capacity, based on the cargo leaving the plants, due to the lack of parts coming from overseas and the fact that some technicians have not been able to return to work. Samsung did not respond to a request for comment.
Samsung accounted for 6.1 per cent of all foreign investment in Vietnam in the 10 years up to 2018 and was responsible for 28 per cent of the country’s total exports in 2017, meaning the downstream effects of an extended slowdown at the Korean giant could be severe.

At the same time, a senior source at a business park in Haiphong, a major industrial city in the northeast of Vietnam, said that a US$1 billion LG plant was “completely closed” last week because of the inability to man the production lines. LG, another Korean electronics giant, could not be reached for comment.

“The deeper you go in the supply chain, the greater the impact,” said Julien Brun, managing director at CEL Consulting, a supply chain advisory firm. “Small companies may have important expertise for the rest of the supply chain, but because of the shortage of goods from China, they will be the first to go.”

The supply chain director for a top three Vietnamese e-commerce company – who due to the sensitivity of the issue, wished to remain anonymous – said that the big multinational companies he works with, including Samsung, Nestle, and Proctor & Gamble, have warned that they may run out of supplies by mid-March, since they cannot source from China.

Vietnamese and Bangladeshi workers will be twiddling their thumbs. Even when China gets back up and running, you are going to have at least a month’s lag in production in Southeast Asia

Stanley Szeto

“We are currently taking advantage of the coronavirus situation since people are worried about going to the physical supermarket,” said the

e-commerce

director, who said his platform ran out of health care products such as

face masks

and hand sanitiser weeks ago. “But this may not last. Small e-commerce platforms will be hit first, but we will be next.”

Even as China comes back online, there will be at least a one-month hole in the accounts for many companies come the end of the year, said Stanley Szeto, executive chairman at Hong Kong-based apparel company, Lever Style.

“In the apparel business, raw materials usually come out of China,” said Szeto, who works with manufacturing partners in Vietnam. “So to the extent that fabric mills and accessory makers cannot come back and produce things, then Vietnamese and Bangladeshi workers will be twiddling their thumbs. Even when China gets back up and running, you are going to have at least a month’s lag in production in Southeast Asia.”

Why the WHO isn’t labelling Covid-19 a pandemic and how the world coped with past global diseases

Western companies have also found themselves caught up in the virus’ impact in Vietnam. After the Lunar New Year holiday ended, a series of strikes rocked plants in Haiphong and Ho Chi Minh City, with local workers protesting that returning Chinese migrant workers should not be permitted into employee dormitories.

“We had some downtime from that, but after the workers were quarantined we have been able to get back up and running for now,” said a sourcing director for a US multinational which was affected by the strikes, who asked not to be named. They added that the Chinese shutdown has left his company vulnerable to inventory shortages as far ahead as April and May.

A survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Ho Chi Minh City last week found that 70 per cent of its manufacturing members were operating at 70 per cent or above, with 17 per cent running at between 50 and 70 per cent and 13 per cent operating at less than half of normal capacity.

“While some were seeing a light at the end of the tunnel even last weekend. Others were saying that if their suppliers in China do not get back online producing better, they’re going to be impacted from that,” said AmCham executive director Mary Tarnowka.

 

US delisting of Vietnam as developing nation no big deal

US delisting of Vietnam as developing nation no big deal

A man works at Ford Vietnam car factory in northern Hai Duong Province, April 12, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Kham.

The U.S. declassification of Vietnam as a developing nation was anticipated and will affect neither existing countervailing duties levied nor its WTO benefits, experts say.

“Although the U.S.’s move means Vietnam will stop receiving some preferential treatment it had enjoyed while it was considered a developing nation, this is something that has been anticipated, as this is part of Vietnam’s commitment to integrate deeper into the global supply chain,” economist Can Van Luc told VnExpress International.

“It is unlikely exports to the U.S. will fall at all, as Vietnam’s exports to the economy in recent times have complied with U.S. standards. However, Vietnam will need to be more careful to avoid anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations, given exports of products like steel, footwear, agricultural produce to the U.S. have been doing very well in the past few years,” Luc said.

On February 10, the U.S. removed Vietnam and 24 other markets including China, Brazil, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore from its internal list of developing countries enjoying special trade preferences regarding countervailing duties (CVD).

“For purposes of US CVD law, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) therefore considers countries with a share of 0.5 percent or more of world trade to be developed countries,” the USTR said in a federal notice.

According to WTO data, Vietnam’s total import and export turnover reached $242.6 billion in 2018 and $235.5 billion in 2019, or 1.3 percent and 1.19 percent of world trade respectively.

This allows the U.S. to reduce the threshold for triggering a U.S. investigation into whether these nations are harming U.S. industries with unfairly subsidized exports.

Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, governments are required to terminate their CVD investigations if the amount of foreign subsidy is de minimis, or less than 1 percent of the value of goods.

But it provides a different standard for countries considered developing nations, and requires investigators to terminate duty investigations if the amount of subsidy is less than 2 percent ad valorem.

Le Trieu Dung, head of the Trade Remedies Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the U.S.’s latest move would have “no tangible effect,” as it had already found Vietnam to have applied subsidies of above 2 percent to goods in all of its last seven CVD investigations.

“The decision will only affect Vietnam in the long run if the U.S. conducts further CVD investigations on its exports, and finds that subsidies applied is less than 2 percent ad valorem,” Dung said.

In any case, Vietnam’s developing country status within the framework of the WTO remains unchanged, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said in a statement.

One of the greatest flexibilities that Vietnam still enjoys is the WTO’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), whereby developed countries offer non-reciprocal preferential treatment (such as zero or low duties on imports) to products originating in developing countries, the ministry said.

Vietnam not a specific target

Paul R. Pillar, Non-Resident Senior Fellow of the U.S.’s Georgetown University, said, “This move by the Trump administration should be interpreted in the context of its overall trade policy, which has exhibited two chief characteristics. One is an overall hawkishness and toughness, based on the administration’s assertion that other countries have taken unfair advantage of the U.S. in trade.”

This is a mercantile approach that reflects Donald Trump’s view that there are always winners and losers, more so than mutually beneficial arrangements having to do with trade or anything else, he said.

“The administration evidently sees the advantageous status granted to developing countries as one of the ways in which such countries take advantage of the U.S., and so the administration would like to reduce such preferences in general,” Pillar said.

Trump’s administration has also shown disdain for multilateral agreements and organizations and a preference for bilateral deals, so it is no surprise that it is acting unilaterally in coming up with its own list of developing and developed countries rather than just accepting the one that is registered with the WTO, he said.

“This latest action by the U.S. is not aimed specifically at Vietnam. It is just one country on a long list of countries that are affected by a move that the Trump administration is making for more general reasons.”

“All that Vietnam can do in response is to bargain hard with the U.S. in all future bilateral trade negotiations. It is such negotiations, more so than Vietnam’s place or absence on the lists just published, that will shape Vietnam’s trade relations with the U.S.,” Pillar said.

Concurring with this analysis, economist Can Van Luc said that while some industries could be hurt because of U.S. duties, the Vietnamese government can still make bilateral agreements to protect local manufacturers.

“Vietnam might need to conduct trade negotiations with the U.S. on specific industries to minimize the impacts of higher tariffs,” he added.

The U.S. was Vietnam’s biggest export market last year, accounting for $60.7 billion or 23 percent of total export turnover, according to the General Statistics Office.

Vietnam’s trade surplus with the U.S. also widened to $46.98 billion last year from $34.87 billion a year earlier.

 

Source: VnExpress
US delisting of Vietnam as developing nation no big deal

F1 Says Vietnam Race Is on Amid Coronavirus Concern

LONDON — Vietnam’s first Formula One grand prix will go ahead as planned on April 5, the sport said on Wednesday, despite continuing concern about the coronavirus epidemic that has caused the cancellation of China’s race.

The street race in Hanoi will be the third round of the season and the local promoter said the last 150 meters of the 23-turn 5.6km track was laid last week along the start/finish line.

“We are ready and can’t wait to welcome the world to Hanoi very soon,” Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation CEO Le Ngoc Chi said in a statement.

Formula One chief executive Chase Carey told analysts on a 2019 Q4 earnings call that “all systems are go” and he would visit Hanoi on March 16, the day after the Australian season-opener in Melbourne.

“The Vietnam Grand Prix will take place on April 5 in Hanoi. And to anticipate another question, we do plan to proceed with the race,” he said.

“We’re heading to Melbourne, heading to Bahrain and heading to Hanoi.”

The Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for Shanghai on April 19 was called off this month and there has been media speculation about the chances of Vietnam’s race going ahead as the virus spreads globally.

A badminton Olympic qualifier scheduled for Vietnam from March 24-29 was postponed to June on Tuesday due to “strict health protection restrictions in place in Vietnam”.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he was dealing with “a bit of a moving target” with travel already a logistical headache.

“Can you come back into Bahrain via Dubai? Probably not at the moment. We’ve got Honda engineers. Can they go back to Japan? Would they be allowed into Australia even at the moment?,” he asked Sky television.

Bahrain, which hosts the second race of the season a week after Melbourne, has reported 26 people diagnosed with the virus and has suspended flights to Dubai. The United Arab Emirates is a major transit hub.

The disease is believed to have started in a market selling wildlife in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, the vast majority in China.

The Vietnamese health ministry said on Tuesday that 16 people in the country infected with coronavirus had been cured with no new cases recorded since Feb. 13.

German free-to-air broadcaster RTL announced last week, however, that it would be covering the Vietnam race remotely due to coronavirus concerns.

Italy, home to Ferrari and tyre supplier Pirelli as well as the Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri team, has had 12 deaths and 374 cases of coronavirus diagnosed.

The Ferrari museum in Maranello has been closed and access to the team’s factory restricted.

In Formula One testing in Barcelona, McLaren have barred entry to their hospitality to anyone who has visited China in the past two weeks.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond)

 

Source: New York Times
F1 Says Vietnam Race Is on Amid Coronavirus Concern

Vietnam Business Operations and the Coronavirus: Updates

This article will be updated as further developments in Vietnam become available. 

Latest Updates

  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on February 27, removed Vietnam from the list of destinations vulnerable to community transmission of COVID-19 citing’s Vietnam’s comprehensive actions against the epidemic. The CDC will also send a delegation in March to enhance medical cooperation between the US and Vietnam. It also plans to establish a CDC regional office in the country.
  • There have been no new cases apart from the 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far since February 13. However, as per the government on February 25, all 16 of the patients have recovered and released after receiving treatment.
  • Vietnam’s Prime Minister has ordered the tax authorities to reschedule tax payments to support businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • Vietnam and China have agreed to reopen further border crossings to ease restrictions and normalize trade. Several border crossings in Quang Ninh, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Lang Son, and Ha Giang have reopened. However, backlogs remain, and other border crossings remain closed.
  • Khanh Hoa province, home to the tourist destination of Nha Trang has been declared COVID-19 free as of February 26. The province has not reported any COVID-19 cases since February 4. Despite the epidemic, Russian tourists have continued to visit the tourist destination of Nha Trang with just a slight dip compared to last year in the same period.
  • Vietnam’s labor ministry announced that it will stop issuing new work permits to foreigners who come from areas hit by COVID-19.
  • Education authorities in 14 provinces including Bac Giang, Ca Mau, Nghe An, Quang Ninh, Long An, and Quang Ngai will reopen schools in a staggered manner. High school students would start from March 2 and while elementary students from March 15. Authorities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are yet to make a decision.
  • Vietnam’s Prime Minister has barred all travelers coming from areas that have experienced a COVID-19 outbreak. The policy includes travelers from South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran.
  • Authorities in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City quarantined 83 people who arrived on flights from South Korea’s Daegu city as a precaution.
  • Due to the increase in cases in South Korea, Vietnam has implemented mandatory health declarations at all international border gates for passengers arriving from South Korea.
  • The government has also urged local provincial authorities to quarantine travelers arriving from Daegu and North Gyeongsang province for 14 days.
  • Vietnamese expats in epidemic hit areas have been advised not to return to Vietnam at this time but follow guidelines and regulations by local authorities.
  • The authorities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have also proposed quarantine restrictions on travelers arriving from Japan and South Korea.
  • While there have been several flight cancellations to South Korea from Vietnam, the authorities have not suspended flights to and from South Korea for now. However, Vietnamese carrier Bamboo Airways has suspended all flights to and from South Korea, while all flights between Daegu and Da Nang have been suspended.
  • All flights from infected areas in South Korea will be diverted to smaller airports such as Van Don in the northern Quang Ninh province, Phu Cat in the south-central Binh Dinh province and Can Tho in the Mekong Delta.
  • Vietnam’s civil aviation authority suspended all flights to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan on February 1. However, the authority lifted the ban for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan from February 2. Flights to and from mainland China (including transit) remain suspended.
  • The northern province of Cao Bang, which shares its border with China has run out of rooms for quarantining people for those returning from China. Authorities there have had to send patients to neighboring provinces of Bac Kan and Thai Nguyen for isolation. Around 700 Vietnamese that arrived from China between February 4 and 22 have been kept in isolation in Cao Bang.
  • Around 600 Vietnamese nationals from China are expected to arrive in Dak Lak province. As per standard procedures, they will be quarantined for 14 days as a precaution.
  • Around 2,500 workers of a Korean firm in Ha Nam province went on strike to protest against allowing Chinese staff to return to work.
  • Up to 300 businesses in Vietnam have temporarily suspended operations while others have downsized due to the outbreak.
  • The south-central province of Khanh Hoa, home to the tourist destination of Nha Trang is preparing measures to declare itself virus-free after no new cases were recorded in the past 30 days.
  • The novel coronavirus has been renamed as COVID-19 as per the World Health Organization (WHO). The Co and Vi come from coronavirus, with D meaning disease and 19 for 2019.
  • The authorities have put the commune of Son Lai under lockdown after six cases of the virus were found there. The commune comprises of several villages and is around 40 km north of the capital Hanoi. The quarantine of the commune is expected to last for 20 days.
  • Samsung has stated that its Galaxy phone factories in Vietnam are now operating at full capacity.
  • The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has announced a list of medical supplies including masks, dry hand sanitizers, filters, epidemic prevent suits, among others exempt from tax until the epidemic ends.
  • We are hearing accounts of travelers in more remote border crossings into Vietnam being denied entry if they possess any China visa history in their passport. While this may not be an official policy, it appears to be implemented at certain border crossings in more remote areas. If travel into Vietnam is required we recommend using the main border entry-exit points.
  • Dezan Shira & Associates‘, Trent Davies, Manager of our Ho Chi Minh City office, spoke at an AmCham Vietnam event Impact of Novel Coronavirus on Your Health and Business in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. During the event, Trent discussed the broad economic impact of the epidemic in Vietnam, especially in vulnerable industries such as education and tourism. A full summary can be found here.
  • Vietnam issued Decision No.173.QD-TTg declaring coronavirus as an epidemic – in line with the World Health Organization’s declaration of the virus as a global health emergency.
  • The government has ordered the health ministry to supervise and early detect infected cases, monitor border crossings, airports, and seaports, particularly for passengers coming from affected areas.
  • Vietnam stopped issuing visas for Chinese tourists on January 30 as a temporary measure. Foreign visitors who have visited mainland China (including transit) in the past 14 days from arrival will also be denied entry into Vietnam.
  • Passenger train services between Vietnam and China have been suspended until further notice, however freight train services between the two countries continue to operate.
  • On February 4, more than 200 passengers from China were denied entry at Ho Chi Minh City airport by border officials. The passengers were sent back on respective flights.
  • The labor ministry has also asked businesses to keep names and other information of Chinese and foreign workers who have visited virus affected areas. In addition, they must be quarantined for two weeks for health checks.
  • Vietnam’s airports have been ordered to deploy additional personnel and coordinate with local health agencies to deploy body temperature scanning equipment as well as a screening of passengers.
  • Building management of some apartment buildings in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have begun body temperature checks for people entering the building. Ho Chi Minh City officials have asked building authorities to strengthen preventive measures at apartment buildings.
  • The government has also urged local authorities to limit festivities and gatherings related to the Lunar New Year Holiday.
  • Hanoi authorities have planned two field hospitals in case infections rise.

Impact and Summary

Vietnam has currently declared 16 cases of the coronavirus infection; however, we have concerns that more cases will arise. Chinese nationals and those arriving from South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran will face additional checks and screening. As mentioned earlier, all 16 of the patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals.

The virus’s symptoms are respiratory and seem to start with a fever, cough, and shortness of breath gradually. However, in serious cases, it can lead to pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and death.

There is currently no vaccine, so patients are being treated for their symptoms.

Vietnam’s health ministry has further stated that the fatality rate of the virus is 2 percent as compared to the 9.6 percent of the SARS virus in 2002-2003.

Recent developments indicate that some Chinese travelers may have already been infected but not realized it – the virus appears to have a non-symptomatic 7-14 day incubation period. Further border checks and other travel restrictions are possible given the rapidly evolving developments.

Businesses operating in Vietnam need to prepare for an escalation of the coronavirus in Vietnam and be ready for measures taken by the authorities to get enforced with little or no notice.

We recommend businesses in Vietnam contact their staff to ascertain where they are and discuss any regional or national advisories concerning travel. Staff experiencing any cough or flu-like symptoms should not return to the office or factory.

We are providing updates and advisories concerning ASEAN (as well as Vietnam) on this article here.

To prepare for business measures in Vietnam, we recommend reading through this article herewhich contains advisory for businesses operating in China, but may also be required should an outbreak extend to affect businesses operating in Vietnam. We strongly advise precautionary measures begin to be taken.

While travel to Vietnam can continue, we recommend taking precautions and following advice from Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.

Basic precautions one can take to reduce their risk to the coronavirus as advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) are:

  • Wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub;
  • Cover nose and mouth with tissues or inside of elbow when coughing or sneezing;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs; and
  • Avoid unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals

We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Source: Vietnam Briefing
Vietnam Business Operations and the Coronavirus: Updates

Vietnam is set to lose billions of dollars due to coronavirus, and it’s already feeling the impact of the deadly outbreak

lovesac factory mask

All workers and visitors at Tan Hoang Gia Trading Co. in Ho Chi Minh City are required to wear masks.Kate Taylor/Business Insider

As the official count of confirmed cases of COVID-19 — the respiratory illness causes by coronavirus — continues to climb, Vietnam is feeling the economic impact.

Many factories such as Tan Hoang Gia Trading Co., which typically imports plywood from China, have been unable to get materials from the country. With borders partially closed, companies that export to China have struggled to sell their goods.

Chinese visitors, who typically make up about a third of tourists to the country, are scarce. And, at least a few businesses are trying to bar any Chinese customers from entering, out of fear of the coronavirus spreading.

On February 14, the Vietnamese government announced it would not lower its economic growth target for 2020. As of Monday, there are 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Vietnam; globally, there have been more than 76,000 total cases and more than 2,200 deaths.

The coronavirus could cause Vietnam’s GDP growth rate to drop by around one percentage point for the year, despite the government’s current refusal to lower its target.

ho chi minh city motorbikes

Kate Taylor/Business Insider

Former Vietnamese government adviser Le Dang Doanh told Business Insider that Vietnam’s economy has been negatively affected across numerous sectors, including exports to and imports from China, tourism, and transportation services such as airlines and trains.

“The government still keeps the growth target unchanged,” Doanh, who served as a member of the UN Committee for Development Policy from 2016 to 2018, said in an email. “But I think the GDP growth rate of Vietnam’s economy in 2020 should be reduced by ca. 1 from the 6.9% target, maybe to around 6.0-5.9%.”

Multiple sectors are taking an economic hit.

vietjet masks

Kate Taylor/Business Insider

Stephen Wyatt, the country head of Jones Lang LaSalle Vietnam, said that at the moment, the real-estate firm has seen fairly little long-term impact from a business point of view.

However, Wyatt said, the coronavirus has had a clear, immediate impact on certain sectors. Annual conferences and large-scale events have been cancelled. According to Wyatt, foot traffic in shopping centers has dropped, as people do not want to be in public spaces where they could be infected.

There has also been a dramatic drop in tourism.

mekong delta
A guide leads a boat tour in the Mekong Delta.
Kate Taylor/Business Insider

“We’ve been talking to a number of the hotel groups and their numbers are down quite significantly — 30%, 40%, 50%, 60% down on year-over-year figures,” in Vietnam, Wyatt said.

Vietnam’s department of tourism is prepared for the country to lose billions of dollars as people cancel plans and avoid travel.

“In three months, the estimated direct damage to Vietnam’s tourism industry could reach between $3 and $4 billion,” a representative for the country’s department of tourism said.

Chinese visitors typically make up roughly a third of all international tourists in Vietnam. Recently, that figure has dropped to almost nothing due to China banning travel and Vietnam barring the entry of travelers from areas affected by the outbreak.

Potential visitors from other countries are also avoiding Vietnam, due to concerns about traveling in Asia during the outbreak, according to the department of tourism.

Imports and exports are significantly down.

coronavirus ho chi minh city

Kate Taylor/Business Insider

On Thursday, Vietnam announced it had eased its restrictions on trade with China, attempting to assist businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

Retailers are also likely to be negatively impacted.

coronavirus ho chi minh

Kate Taylor/Business Insider

In a note on Wednesday, Cowen analyst Oliver Chen predicted that coronavirus would have a “material” impact in the first quarter for retailers that do substantial businesses in China, and that neighboring countries will likely be affected as well.

“We believe the coronavirus illness will substantially curtail store traffic in China and neighboring countries, may negatively affect incoming Chinese tourism, and is also likely to disrupt supply chains,” Chen wrote.

Yet, there could be a silver lining for the Vietnamese economy.

lovesac factory mask

Kate Taylor/Business Insider

Despite the negatives, Wyatt believes that coronavirus has the potential to create some economic opportunities in Vietnam. Supply-chain issues in China might help manufacturers decide to move more production into Vietnam, continuing a trend sparked in part by Vietnam’s cheaper labor market and the US-China trade war.

“Positive side could be, for Vietnam, that we’re going to see that continued movement of businesses wanting to relocate out of China,” Wyatt said.

 

Source: Business Insider
Vietnam is set to lose billions of dollars due to coronavirus, and it’s already feeling the impact of the deadly outbreak

Deregulation vital to enhancing business climate

A woman shops online. E-commerce is a business line which requires prerequisites. Việt Nam needs to improve on the deregulation of business prerequisites. — Photo thuonggiaonline.vn

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam needs to focus on improving business conditions to ensure deregulation really benefitted businesses, heard a conference held by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) on Thursday in Hà Nội.

CIEM Director Trần Thị Hồng Minh said there were still business requirements which were unnecessary, unreasonable or unfeasible.

Minh pointed out that ministries and agencies made significant efforts to deregulate business conditions from 2017-19, with 50 per cent of prerequisites removed or simplified.

However, more needed to be done to ensure the deregulation progress really benefitted firms, Minh saids.

Head of the CIEM’s Business Climate and Competitiveness Research Department Nguyễn Minh Thảo said that nearly 40 documents related to removing and simplifying business conditions were issued over the past three years, demonstrating the Government’s determination to create a favourable business environment.

Looking at the results of 2017-19, Thảo said the deregulation was mainly in the form of simplification while few prerequisites had been removed completely.

However, Thảo said business conditions were still causing a lot of difficulties.

She said ministries had made no reports to evaluate the efficiency and impacts of these reforms.

“The focus should be more on the quality of the deregulation, rather than how many conditions are removed or simplified,” Thảo said.

Head of the Legal Department under the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Đậu Anh Tuấn said the deregulation of business prerequisites had reached the Government’s goal in terms of quantity but quality remained a big problem.

Tuấn said that ministries needed to evaluate the efficiency of reforms in each sector and continue to review and deregulate business prerequisites, together with the establishment of a dialogue mechanism to listen to businesses and adopt solutions to tackle their problems.

CIEM experts agreed that changing the Government’s management mindset was critical.

Businesses should be allowed to operate providing they met the conditions laid out, according to Thảo. — VNS

 

Source: Viet Nam News
Deregulation vital to enhancing business climate