There would be tailor-made support for enterprises in each sector and field to better address their concern during this difficult pandemic situation.
|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the meeting. Photo: VGP
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made the suggestion in an online meeting with the local business community today [August 8], saying the Government is committed to trying its best to support enterprises in terms of policies for production recovery and expansion.
“The Government stands ready to support businesses during the current Covid-19 outbreak with the goal of sharing both the risks and the benefits with them,” he added.
The prime minister called for drastic measures to soon contain the pandemic and aid the economic recovery to keep the supply chains intact.
During the meeting, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung revealed for the first seven months of this year, the number of enterprises waiting for dissolution rose by 29% year-on-year to over 28,000, while those having completed such process also increased by 27% to nearly 11,400.
On average, around 11,300 enterprises exited the market every month, Dung said, acknowledging the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on business and production activities.
Dung also referred to data from the General Department of Taxation that total outstanding loans as of July rose by 23% against late 2020 to nearly VND117 trillion ($5 billion).
“As the market is showing no sign of recovery, enterprises that have used up all of their resources are now battling for survival,” Dung added.
According to Dung, the majority of firms are looking for greater simplification in administrative procedures, along with consistent and transparent Covid-19 containment policies.
Among measures to continue supporting the business community, Minister Dung stressed the urgency to fight off the pandemic as soon as possible.
“For the time being, it is imperative to allocate Covid-19 vaccines efficiently with priorities being those with high risks of infection, including workers in industrial parks or labor-intensive industries,” Dung stated.
“The Government may consider a framework for enterprises to purchase medical equipment and conduct Covid-19 testing within their factories,” he added.
For the long term, Dung proposed to allocate more resources to develop the medical device and pharmaceutical industries.
To avoid disruption in supply chains, Dung urged local authorities to maintain the “green channel” with simplified procedures and the application of technology to control the movement of goods and people.
As working capital is one of the key issues for enterprises, Dung suggested more specific monetary and fiscal support, including a reduction in labor union fees, road maintenance fees, or lower electricity prices for the tourism sector.
“Banks should accelerate debt restructuring process or reduce interest rates on existing debts for customers,” he noted.
|A production line of Sunhouse Group in Hanoi. Photo Hoang Anh
Meanwhile, Dung stressed the necessity to be flexible in issuing working permits for foreign experts at foreign-invested firms to better adapt to the current situation.
Dung noted the Government would soon set up a specialized task force to address concerns of the people and enterprises affected by the pandemic.
“The Government targets the pandemic could soon be contained by later this year, as the vaccination progress is sped up and herd immunity would be achieved by the second quarter of 2022,” Dung suggested.
Vice-Chairman of the Hanoi Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Hanoisme) Mac Quoc Anh referred to a recent survey on 1,500 enterprises in Hanoi that showed up to 57% were forced to scale down operation due to the pandemic.
“Common issues are difficulties in distribution process to customers, lack of input materials, or working capital to keep business running,” Anh said.
On behalf of local businesses, Anh called for the authorities to prioritize vaccines for workers in industrial parks and further cut land rental fees in 2021.
“Enterprises expect the Government to continue simplifying administrative procedures to improve the business environment,” noting the move is key for enterprises to thrive in the post-pandemic period.