Samsung may face losses of up to US$10 billion if engineers and experts of the South Korean conglomerate are put into quarantine upon entering Vietnam, VnExpress reported, citing South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Park Noh-wan.
Samsung is planning to bring more than 1,000 South Korean experts into Vietnam to support its production chain, Park told local reporters on March 6.
Park referred to Vietnam’s recent policy requiring all visitors from South Korea or transit through South Korea, including businesses, diplomats, or officials, to be quarantined in 14 days amid the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in that country.
Park asked local authorities to adjust the policy for employees from South Korean companies, particularly Samsung and LG, that they will be exempted from quarantine.
As per Vietnamese screening measures, those holding diplomatic passports should also be considered on a case-by-case basis, Park said and suggested all South Koreans with a health certificate issued by the South Korean authority should be allowed to enter Vietnam without being isolated.
“We are concerned that putting South Koreans in quarantine would cause huge financial losses,” Park was quoted by VnExpress as saying.
The South Korean Ambassador said the two countries are working closely to prevent the Covid-19 epidemic and ensure the movements of people.
Since February 29, the number of South Koreans coming to Vietnam has plunged after the Vietnam halted the unilateral visa-waiver program for South Koreans.
In the first two months of 2019, an average of 100 South Koreans arrived to Vietnam per day, significantly lower than the previous figure of 13,000 recorded in the same period last year.
Park noted from March 7 onwards, all Vietnamese airlines would stop flights to and from South Korea. Before the epidemic, there were 80 direct flights per day and 550 per week between Vietnam and South Korea. Nearly 170,000 South Koreans are living in Vietnam.
“I hope the two countries to have effective solutions against the epidemic and minimize the long-term impacts on the bilateral relations,” he said.