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How southern factories keep production running amid Covid-19 resurgence

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How southern factories keep production running amid Covid-19 resurgence

Workers label chemical products at a factory of Earth Corporation Vietnam in the southern province of Binh Duong. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong.


Over 3,000 factories in the southern province of Binh Duong that are imposing on-site manufacturing have achieved initial success in keeping its workers safe from Covid-19.

Chemicals producer Earth Corporation Vietnam in the last 45 days has been able to keep manufacturing uninterrupted by letting its 180 workers stay on-site.

One key factor is to impose strict isolation from the outside world, said Phan Thi Phuong Linh, head of human resources.

Delivery truck drivers are required to take photos of their documents, including negative Covid-19 test results, and send them to security personnel.

Company staff will then come out, sign necessary documents and place them in a specified area outside the factory for drivers to pick up to ensure no direct contact.

All materials will be disinfected and stored elsewhere for 48 hours before being moved to the manufacturing base.

Another measure the company has employed is supplying their workers with personal-care products to stop them from going outside. Tea and coffee are also provided for this purpose.

“If we do not do so, workers will find ways to buy from vendors through the fence, which could be a source of contagion,” Linh said.

A worker who chooses to stay at the factory is rewarded with VND5.5 million ($239), but that could be taken away if someone tries to violate protocols and come in contact with people from outside.

If somebody is forced to go out, for example for a medical checkup, he or she will need to test Covid-19 negative upon return and must stay seven days at a quarantine area within the factory.

“Operating costs triple when we impose these measures but this is what the company has to accept in order to ensure safety,” Linh said, adding that even though some drivers had tested Covid-19 positive, no one in the company so far has been infected.

Southern Rubber Industry JSC (Casumina) has been operating safely after a month of imposing on-site manufacturing in five factories in Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ho Chi Minh City.

The company at the end of June started setting up tents for over 1,200 workers. Drivers and cooks at high risk of contagion are kept in a separate area and are Covid-19 tested twice a week.

The company also set up a “slide system” to receive and send out deliveries.

A slide system used to ensure contactless delivery in a factory of Casumina in the southern province of Binh Duong. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong.

A slide system used to ensure contactless delivery in a factory of Casumina in the southern province of Binh Duong. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong.

Workers are compensated VND150,000 a day during this time.

With these measures the company managed to keep 80 percent of production going, which keeps both customers and workers secured.

“If we are forced to close, the company would lose VND30 billion a month and even face penalties for delays in handing over goods to customers,” said Pham Hong Phu, CEO of Casumina.

Data on Binh Duong indicate 3,000 companies are imposing on-site manufacturing, which accounts for 90 percent of the total that had registered to do so.

The remaining companies have stopped operating due to troubles in sourcing materials, fluctuating demand and inability to convince workers to stay, said deputy chairman of the province Duong Mai Hung Dung.

Binh Duong has over 1.2 million workers in 29 industrial parks and 12 industrial clusters. The province has recorded over 18,300 Covid-19 patients in the latest wave, second only to HCMC in the south.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/business/economy/how-southern-factories-keep-production-running-amid-covid-19-resurgence-4335450.html

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Vietnam trade to climb to new peak

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Vietnam trade to climb to new peak

A container ship is seen at Tan Cang Cai Mep Terminal in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Photo by VnExpress/Dang Khoa


Vietnam’s trade could reach a record high of $600 billion in 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has said.

This would be 10 percent higher than last year as against a government target of 4-5 percent, it said.

It had reached $510 billion as of Oct. 15 with a marginal deficit.

Vietnam, which has been recording a trade surplus for years, has been suffering a deficit this year as social distancing and travel restrictions imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19 hurt exports.

So the final value would be dependent on curbing Covid-19 and recovering manufacturing and exports, the ministry said.

If there are no more major outbreaks in the remaining months and southern-based companies regain their growth momentum, the deficit could be wiped out and there could even be a surplus, it added.

Several large FDI plans announced recently seem to substantiate the ministry’s forecast.

South Korean electronics giant LG Display in August announced an additional investment of $1.4 billion in its manufacturing facility in Hai Phong this year.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/business/economy/vietnam-trade-to-climb-to-new-peak-4375836.html

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HDBank affirms position among top 5 prestigious banks in Việt Nam

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With its outstanding business results and accompanying the economy in overcoming the pandemic, HDBank affirms position among top five prestigious banks in Việt Nam. — Photo courtesy of the bank

HCM CITY — HDBank has once again been honoured as one of the most prestigious private institutions in the country by Vietnam Report, affirming its position as among the most dynamic banks in terms of growth.

The award was presented at the Vietnam Top 50 Public Companies (VIX50) in 2021 ceremony organised by Vietnam Report on October 21 in Hà Nội.

Techcombank, ACB, VPBank, and TPBank also won awards.

The awards were based on three criteria: financial capacity as shown in the latest year’s financial statements; communications prestige assessed by media coding method; and surveys of relevant stakeholders done in June 2021.

HDBank did well in all three criteria.

Its positive business results in the first six months of 2021 was a bright spot.

Overcoming the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, HDBank achieved 82 per cent of its full-year profit target in the first nine months.

Its total assets as of September 30 were worth over VNĐ346 trillion (US$15.2 billion), up 26.7 per cent from a year earlier.

Return on equity (ROE) was 24 per cent compared to 21.1 per cent in September 2020. The capital adequacy ratio (CAR) and liquidity were maintained at high levels, with CAR (according to Basel II) at 13 per cent, far above the minimum requirement of 8 per cent.

The bank’s total operating income in the first three quarters topped VNĐ12.1 trillion ($532.3 million), 23.6 per cent up from the same period last year. Operating costs continued to be optimised with the cost to income ratio reduced to 39 per cent from 43.8 per cent a year earlier.

Its standalone and consolidated non-performing loan ratios were below 1 per cent and 1.4 per cent, both lower than in a year earlier.

Services continued to be its bright spot in the first nine months, as net income rose 88.6 per cent year-on-year.

Notably, net income from services for the parent bank more than tripled from the same period last year thanks to growth in the bancassurance and payments services segments.

This helped HDBank develop in a more comprehensive way, no longer depending on credit while minimising risks and improving the revenue structure in a sustainable manner.

In the first nine months of the year, HDBank actively undertook digital transformation to promptly meet the transaction needs of customers in the context of the pandemic.

To help prop up the economy, since the pandemic outbreak HDBank has earmarked over VNĐ42 trillion to support individual and corporate customers.

Besides preferential interest rates, the bank has also offered support in terms of waiver and reduction of various fees.

In August, it won the Best Bank and Best Digital Transformation Bank in Vietnam in 2021 awards at the Global Brand Award. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/1064713/hdbank-affirms-position-among-top-5-prestigious-banks-in-viet-nam.html

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Covid-19 pandemic and the goal of 1.3-1.5 million enterprises by 2025

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The target of having 1.3-1.5 million enterprises by 2025 may be difficult to achieve as many obstacles and the Covid-19 pandemic have affected business seriously. A strong recovery and reform program is needed to encourage Vietnamese businesses.

Một trận 'đạn pháo' và giấc mơ 1,3-1,5 triệu DN vào năm 2025

In early 2021, the Government assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to develop a resolution on enterprise development for the period of 2021-2025, with a vision to 2030, which targets 1.3-1.5 million enterprises by 2025.

According to the Vietnam General Statistics Office, by the end of 2020, the country had about active 810,000 enterprises. To achieve the target, Vietnam must have 100,000-150,000 new businesses coming into operation annually.

This year, due to the heavy influence of the Covid pandemic, a large number of enterprises has withdrawn from the market. It is estimated that by the end of 2021, the number of active businesses will be lower than that of 2020. The question is the target will be fulfilled?

Unified anti-pandemic policy needed

Entrepreneurs complain that with the policy “each locality is a fortress to prevent the epidemic”, many provinces have prioritized the fight against the epidemic with the desire to achieve “zero Covid-19” and this has affected business and production operations.

In many localities, hundreds of pandemic checkpoints have been set up at entrances and highways, which have hindered circulation of goods. The Vietnam Association of Logistics Service Providers lamented that as provinces apply different epidemic prevention measures, goods transport has been seriously affected, doubling the burden on businesses that have had to struggle to survive in the pandemic.

The characteristic of production and business activities is chain connections, regardless of administrative boundaries. Therefore, when local governments apply different policies and regulations on social distancing and goods transport and some provinces even close their doors to ensure “zero Covid”, input materials cannot reach factories and goods are kept in stock. This is seen as the fastest way to push enterprises to the risk of bankruptcy.

Recent statistics from the General Statistics Office show that in January-September 2021, up to 90,300 enterprises withdrew from the market, up 15.3% over the same period of last year.

On average, 10,000 enterprises were leaving the market each month. In fact, the number may be higher because when provinces implemented strict social distancing, many businesses could not complete closure procedures.

This situation has never happened in the past 10 years. Experts estimate that from now until the end of 2021, the number of businesses that will stop operating or be dissolve will be around 120,000.

Prolonged lockdowns have hit the economy hard. However, when switching to “living with Covid-19”, there are still many obstacles. In some provinces, the risk of “sub-license” rises again, making it difficult for businesses to resume operations.

Ly Kim Chi, Chairwoman of the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, said that businesses are already exhausted. If local governments issue more sub-licenses and regulations that cause difficulties for business operations, enterprises will “collapse” completely.

Another challenge for business and production recovery is labor shortages, as tens of thousands of migrant workers have left cities to return to their hometowns to avoid the pandemic.

Stronger reform

Một trận 'đạn pháo' và giấc mơ 1,3-1,5 triệu DN vào năm 2025

Nguyen Dinh Cung, former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said that in 2017 the Institute had proposed that the Government remove three quarters of the existing 4,000 business conditions. However, in official documents issued later, the Government only asked to reduce and simplify 50% of these. In 2018, ministries and branches began reducing and simplifying business conditions under the Government’s direction.

“But I don’t think that it really works because we recommended removing and abolishing, not simplifying business conditions,” Mr. Cung said. Therefore, there has been no substantive impact on the business environment, and no positive effect on enterprises. Half-hearted reform has led to the risk that business conditions are recovering.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) commented that the recent reform and reduction of business conditions and support for enterprises to enter the market has not been substantial. Ministries and state agencies claimed to have cut business conditions by up to 60%, but it is on paper only. In reality it’s only about 30-40%. The market entry procedures are still complicated and overlapping.

In 2016, the Government issued Resolution 35/NQ-CP on supporting and developing enterprises, which set a target of having 1 million enterprises operating by the end of 2020, but it failed. According to experts, the main reason is that the business environment still has many barriers for enterprises to enter the market.

Therefore, in the period of 2021-2025, if there are no drastic reforms in the business environment and to changes in behavior detrimental to production and business activities, the dream of having 1.3-1.5 million enterprises by 2025 will be unreachable.

Facing difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses need a strategy to restore safe production and business activities in the new anti-epidemic state. It is important for Vietnam to take action now, to maintain its competitiveness on regionally and globally, and not to fall behind in the economic recovery process.

Economic experts said that it is necessary to take action immediately and have a comprehensive economic promotion program. Otherwise, recovery will be slow and painful.

Tran Thuy

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/feature/covid-19-pandemic-and-the-goal-of-1-3-1-5-million-enterprises-by-2025-783501.html

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