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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Overview of supporting policies for businesses affected by Covid-19

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A woman in HCMC is vaccinated against Covid-19. More than one million AstraZeneca vaccine doses arrived in Vietnam today, August 13 – PHOTO: TNO

Despite stringent social distancing measures, the Covid-19 pandemic is still developing complicatedly, forcing many businesses to close down or suffer from hefty losses. Therefore, the Government has rolled out a number of supporting policies to help businesses maintain their operations and recover.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, businesses are facing eight major challenges amid Covid-19, including decreased output due to lower demand, shortage of input materials, increased production costs, stagnant cash flow, disruptions in the supply chain, shortage of human resources, limited access to rescue packages and difficulties in immigration.

Addressing a recent meeting between the prime minister and business leaders, Nguyen Chi Dung, Minister of Planning and Investment, proposed four short-term and four long-term solutions to support businesses affected by the pandemic.

The four short-term solutions comprise flexible anti-pandemic measures, facilitating the transportation of goods between localities, cutting fees and costs, and supporting laborers and easing immigration rules for foreign experts.

The four long-term solutions are building strategic policies for the development of businesses, enhancing the effectiveness of supporting policies for businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, boosting digital transformation and innovation, and improving the productivity of State-owned enterprises.

Since the fourth wave of the pandemic broke out in late April, the Government has launched several incentives and supporting policies for both the businesses and the citizens, including partially subsidizing electricity bills, offering rescue packages worth VND26 trillion and reducing a number of taxes and fees. Besides, a VND10 trillion relief package benefiting customers of seven telecommunication service providers was launched early this month.

To cope with the fast spreading Delta variant of coronavirus, the Government has changed its strategy, from “quarantine to prevent Covid-19 from spreading” to “accelerate Covid-19 vaccination to reach herd immunity.”

These policies have resulted in some encouraging economic achievements. The national index of industrial production in January-July rose 7.9% compared with the same period last year.

From January to July, the country exported goods worth over US$185 billion and spent some US$188 billion on imports, surging 25.5% and 35.3% year-on-year, respectively.

The country’s consumer price index in the January-July period grew only 1.64% year-on-year, the lowest for the period since 2016, according to the General Statistics Office.

The core inflation, which excludes the prices of fresh food, energy and State-controlled healthcare and education services, edged up 0.89% versus the year-ago period.

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