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Businesses anticipate COVID-19 rule change



The Ministry of Health’s bold proposal on easing coronavirus quarantine has received the thumbs-up from the business community as, if adopted, it will help them out of labour shortages.

Businesses anticipate COVID-19 rule change

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has suggested permitting asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and close contacts of cases to go to work as normal in the quarantine period.

According to the proposal, which has been submitted to the National Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control for consideration and adoption, asymptomatic cases who are undergoing quarantine for seven days and their RT-RCR test results remain positive for the coronavirus, can work remotely and be allowed to take care of patients in their families, accommodation, or treatment facilities.

Besides that, F1 cases who have not been fully vaccinated are permitted to participate in urgent affairs of their units and localities through remote or in-person work.

In the case of in-person working, there should be a working area designated for them, ensuring a safe distance and that ventilation is adequate to reduce infection risk.

Like F0 cases, F1 cases would be allowed to travel using personal vehicles and comply with the health ministry’s preventive measures. They would have to undergo PCR or antigen tests on the fifth day from the last exposure date or as soon as they have symptoms of COVID-19 for treatment in line with the MoH’s regulations. If approved, the ministry’s suggestion will help manufacturers to take off the load on human force shortage.

Japanese-invested garment company Sakurai Vietnam Co., Ltd located in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa reported that since early this year, over 8,000 of their 12,000 employees have tested positive. At present, only two-thirds of employees travel to work, with the remaining either F0 cases or F1 cases staying at home to monitor health.

“The company is forced to either decrease the manufacturing lines’ capacity or convince employees to work overtime to maintain operations. However, at the peak time when there were too many F0 and close contact cases, the company’s operation has been interrupted,” said Nguyen Huu Quang, chairman of the company’s trade union. “The regulation to ask F1 cases to stay at home for five days to monitor health is not necessary because they will still come into contact with people in the community, thus the risk of infection is equal to the workplace.”

On March 10, Vietnam reported over 160,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time. The statistics, published by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, show that the volume of workers who have to stop work has been very high, with the northern port city of Haiphong reporting 42,000 cases and the northern province of Bac Giang recording 22,000 cases. In Hanoi, nearly one-third of the 18,000 labourers working in the garment and textile sector has tested positive at some point.

Ahead of concerns about the risk of supply chain interruption, several employers proposed that the local authorities create a flexible mechanism for asymptomatic cases so that they can still return the work as soon as possible. For example, at electronics manufacturer Hosiden Vietnam Co., Ltd. in Bac Giang, the company’s leadership required the province to allow its employees to come back to work right after they have a negative test result without staying an additional seven days.

While waiting for the MoH’s proposal to be approved, Long An People’s Committee has issued a temporary decision to permit F0 and F1 cases in isolation to return to offices and facilities. The condition is that agencies and businesses have to comply with strict regulations on preventing and controlling the pandemic.

At the recent Vietnam Business Forum, some foreign business associations asked the Vietnamese government to loosen isolation regulations on F0 and F1 cases because of a very high rate of vaccination across the country, making it more favourable for employers to ensure sufficient labour.

Source: VIR



Shell to deliver first LNG shipment for PV Gas



Petrovietnam Gas JSC (PV GAS) has confirmed a purchase with Shell PLC, facilitating the world’s leading LNG supplier to transport its first LNG shipment to Vietnam.

Shell to deliver first LNG shipment for PV Gas hinh anh 1The logo of Shell at the Contech Vietnam Fair in 2023. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi Petrovietnam Gas JSC (PV GAS) has confirmed
a purchase with Shell PLC, facilitating the world’s leading LNG supplier
to transport its first LNG shipment to Vietnam.

PV GAS issued a tender on April 27 to import LNG for the trial run
and commercial operation of Thi Vai LNG warehouse.

And Shell was selected as the supplier for the first imported LNG
shipment to the warehouse.

The signing confirmation is a milestone for developing PV GAS and Vietnam’s
gas industry. The Thi Vai LNG Warehouse is the largest scale in Vietnam
with a capacity of phase 1 of 1 million tonnes per year, then expanding to
3-6 million tonnes. 

It can receive LNG vessels of up to 100,000 tonnes of LNG ships,
with the main phase 1 facility including LNG storage tanks with a capacity
of 180,000 m3 and technological equipment designed according to Vietnamese and
international standards and regulations.

The system will supply about 1.4 billion m3 of gas to Nhon Trach 3
and 4 power plants, industrial customers, and a part of Vietnam’s gas shortage
after 2023./.


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Vietnam sees steep decline in hiring of foreigners, overseas Vietnamese



The Vietnamese job market saw a plunge in recruitment demand in January-April, with hiring of foreigners and overseas Vietnamese tumbling 39 percent compared to the pre-pandemic level due to the global economic downturn, according to a report recently issued by Navigos Group, one of the leading recruitment companies in Vietnam.

In addition, there was a significant drop of 63 percent in demand for hiring seasonal workers and individuals on short-term contracts. 

Similarly, the demand for recruiting new graduates also experienced a substantial decrease of 49 percent.

Following the prevailing market fluctuations and economic downturn, there was a noticeable decline in labor recruitment demand for various positions including foreigners, overseas Vietnamese, seasonal workers, short-term contracts, new graduates, and mid-level and senior professionals, according to the Navigos Group report.

Overall downtrend

Navigos Group conducted the analysis using job posting data from its platforms, VietnamWorks and Navigos Search, comparing the first four months of 2019, or the pre-COVID period, with the first four months of 2022, or post-pandemic, and January-April this year.

The findings showed that on average, the recruitment demand for various industries during the first four months of 2023 shrank 18 percent compared to the pre-pandemic period and reduced 16 percent compared to the post-pandemic recovery phase in 2022.

Notably, the textile, garment, and footwear industries experienced a persistent 39-percent fall in labor demand, primarily influenced by the global economic recession, inflation impacting purchasing power, and reduced orders.

The recruitment demand in the construction and real estate industry contracted by up to 34 percent in January-April and the procurement, materials, and logistics sectors faced a 25-percent decrease compared to 2019.

The import-export sector dwindled by 18 percent, while the transportation and logistics sector recorded a decline of 22 percent.

The tourism, restaurant, and hotel sectors, which were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, saw the recruitment demand dive by 55 percent in the first four months of 2022 compared to the pre-pandemic level.

However, there was a slight increase in staffing requests within these sectors in January-April, with the decline reducing from 55 percent in 2022 to 43 percent when compared to the pre-pandemic level.

The legal and administrative fields also encountered a substantial decline of 31 percent in the demand for recruitment.

The recruitment demand for marketing professionals dropped by 28 percent compared to the pre-pandemic period.


Bucking the downtrend, the banking and financial services sector, along with the consumer goods industry, experienced a growth rate of 10 percent in the first four months of 2023 compared to the equivalent period prior to the pandemic.

The recruitment demand in the healthcare, retail, and wholesale sectors remains stable, with little to no significant changes.

Navigos Group forecasts that businesses will continue to adopt cost-cutting measures to retain their workforce or may even tighten their belts further until the global economy hits its lowest point and begins to recover.

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Hanoi urged to bolster economic growth drivers



Permanent Government members have asked Hanoi to bolster its economic growth drivers, namely investment, export, and consumption, during a recent meeting with the Standing Board of the municipal Party Committee.

Hanoi urged to bolster economic growth drivers hinh anh 1Part of Hanoi capital city (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – Permanent Government members have asked Hanoi to bolster its economic growth drivers, namely investment, export, and consumption, during a recent meeting with the Standing Board of the municipal Party Committee.

They highly valued efforts and achievements by the Hanoi Party organisation, administration, and people which have joined the entire country in stablising the macro-economy, controlling inflation, boosting growth, guaranteeing major balances, developing culture, maintaining political stability and social order and safety, consolidating defence – security, and promoting external relations and integration into the world, according to the Government Office’s announcement of the permanent Government members’ conclusions made at the meeting.

However, there remains certain shortcomings, difficulties, and challenges to be addressed, they pointed out, elaborating that Hanoi hasn’t made any considerable breakthroughs in economic development, especially sustainable and substantive development; the growth pace is slower than expected; while environmental pollution, traffic congestion, and infrastructure overload have yet to be improved remarkably.

They requested that the city should be further aware of its role, position, potential, and importance to national development; identify difficulties, challenges, and weaknesses; strongly bring into play self-reliance, solidarity, and the spirit of thinking big and acting bold so that it can develop comprehensively, fast, and sustainably and deserve its status as the national political – administrative headquarters and a big centre in terms of economy, culture, education – training, science – technology, and international integration of the whole country.

Hanoi should actively grasp the situation; stay ready to respond to any circumstances; improve the capacity of forecasting possible impacts on local economic development; make flexible, timely, and effective policy response; and bolster economic growth drivers (investment, export, consumption). Besides, it needs to seriously implement the Government and the Prime Minister’s resolutions and directions on dealing with problems in the monetary, credit, real estate, stock, and corporate bond markets.

The capital needs to improve the management, use, and disbursement of public investment, along with funding for the socio-economic recovery and development programme and the three national target programmes. It should strive to complete the tasks and overfulfill the targets for 2023 so as to create a solid stepping stone for the following years. It is also necessary to mobilise every resource for development, promote public – private partnership, and apply new governance, investment, and management models.

Permanent Government members demanded Hanoi push ahead with administrative reforms; build a system of administrative agencies with strong solidarity, high unanimity, integrity, and democracy that work efficiently and centre on people and enterprises; and develop a contingent of professional, civilised, modern, incorruptible, and devoted cadres and civil servants who work for the sake of the people.

They underlined the importance of quickly devising the Hanoi Capital Planning for 2021 – 2030, with a vision to 2050; and adjusting the general planning for building the city by 2045, with a vision to 2065 that features a reformed mindset and a breakthrough, strategic and long-term vision, capitalises on every distinctive potential, outstanding opportunities and competitive edges, and addresses outstanding problems and weaknesses.

The city was also told to step up the implementation of national digital transformation measures and increase the provision of online public services on the National Public Service Portal.

In addition, Hanoi needs to boost socio-economic development in tandem with preserving and bringing into play traditional cultural values and protecting the environment. Social issues, social welfare policies, job creation, and educational and manpower quality should also be given due attention.

The officials required Hanoi further to guarantee political security as well as social order and safety, step up substantive diplomacy and international integration, enhance disease prevention and public health care, and augment the fight against corruption and other negative phenomena.

Local authorities were also asked to boost the Party and political system building; create a lean, efficient, and effective apparatus; and develop a contingent of moral and capable personnel, especially leaders of agencies, according to the announcement./.


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