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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

European enterprises urge Covid-19 vaccination drive in Vietnam

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HCMC – European business leaders have urged the Government to go further and faster in the Covid-19 vaccination drive, proposing harnessing the power of private enterprises and allowing companies to vaccinate their own staff using their own funds.

Four in five business leaders, or 79% of European companies, agreed that businesses should be able to inoculate their workforce. This would reduce the burden on the State budget, while helping to accelerate the Government’s vaccination drive, according to the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham).

Chairman of EuroCham Alain Cany said, “Vietnam has been one of the world’s leaders in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Swift border closures, strict quarantine measures and targeted local lockdowns have kept infections low and enabled domestic business activities to resume.”

“However, this is not a permanent solution and it cannot continue for much longer without damaging economic growth,” Cany said, adding that while Vietnam’s borders are closed, other countries are rolling out vaccinations and re-opening their doors to the world.

As such, there is now a real risk that Vietnam could fall behind unless it implements its own mass vaccination program at scale and pace.

Cany also said the private sector, including foreign enterprises, could help speed up Vietnam’s vaccination efforts.

“Our companies can provide the world-leading equipment and international expertise needed for a successful mass vaccination program. Therefore, Vietnam’s roadmap to recovery should harness the contribution of European business. But the planning needs to begin now so we can hit the ground running as soon as vaccines are available,” he said.

Dr. Guido Hildner, German Ambassador to Vietnam, said, “The vaccination progress in Germany is decisive for economic recovery. For this reason, we encourage and support our partners such as Vietnam to do whatever possible to further speed up their vaccination programs.”

EuroCham members also encouraged the Government to ease quarantine regulations for investors and experts who have been vaccinated in their home countries. Over two-thirds of business leaders reported that their companies have faced obstacles from the current restrictions.

Meanwhile, 79% said that the three-week quarantine would lead to fewer specialists coming to Vietnam. This could hit foreign investment and hurt the business operations of companies who depend on these essential technicians.

More than four in five EuroCham members, or 81%, believe that the Government should now reduce the quarantine regulations for vaccinated foreign experts and their families to one week at the most and simplify the procedure to address this issue.

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