Mekong Delta restarts production and business activities

06:00 | 29/10/2021 Trade

(VEN) - The fourth wave of Covid-19 pandemic severely affected the economy of Vietnam in general and of the Mekong Delta region in particular in terms of GDP growth, the number of bankrupt enterprises, and unemployment, forcing the region to quickly restart production and business activities to restore the economy.

Quick adaptation

According to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), in the first nine months of 2021, 85,000 new enterprises have been established while the number of dissolved enterprises reached over 90,000. More seriously, even businesses that are still operating are mostly exhausted. In 19 southern provinces and cities, 98 percent of businesses suffered heavy losses and most said they could hardly survive for the next three to six months unless the situation improves.

The supply chain of agro-forestry-fishery products in the Mekong Delta is connected to domestic consumption and export

In Can Tho Province, most businesses have stopped operation, especially industrial manufacturing enterprises. For example, as of early October 2021, only about 17 percent of enterprises in Can Tho City had maintained operations and the remaining temporarily suspended operations. Businesses are very excited about resumption of production, but many are also very worried about the low vaccination rate of workers. Their goal now is prioritizing quick vaccination for employees so they can return to work safely.

In Dong Thap Province, only some 100 enterprises are operating under the “three-on-the-spot” and “four-on-the-spot” models entailing housing their employees at the factory - but at a moderate capacity of about 30-40 percent. Thanks to the recent resumption of work at local enterprises, the province’s industrial production index in September 2021 increased by 6.21 percent over the previous month and equaled 70.69 percent of the same period last year.

The priority solutions to restore production at present is to vaccinate workers

Economist Nguyen Xuan Thanh from Fulbright University Vietnam forecast that in the fourth quarter of 2021, Vietnam could achieve a GDP growth rate of 3.5 percent compared to the previous quarter, and is likely to achieve a two percent growth rate for 2021. The issue of special interest to provinces and cities in the region is how to open the economy sustainably, retain investors and promote the advantages of the region to welcome production and business opportunities at year’s end.

Restarting the economy

Many localities that have brought the pandemic under control are calculating plans to reopen their economies. However, reopening and recovering the economy requires a comprehensive strategy with a multi-dimensional approach on a large scale.

Dr. Tran Huu Hiep, an economic expert on the Mekong Delta said that to ensure  safe reopening, each locality needs to outline specific scenarios in accordance with actual situations in each area. The Ministry of Health should review the criteria for pandemic prevention and control to help localities shift to a state of new normal. Hiep emphasized that a priority solution to restore production would be to vaccinate workers, along with effective implementation of mechanisms, policies and solutions to support people, workers and businesses to overcome difficulties, stabilize and restore production in the final months of the year.

Vo Tan Thanh, Vice President of the VCCI emphasized that the “new normal” state still poses potential resurgence risks of the pandemic. Therefore, in addition to support from the Government and local authorities, the efforts, initiatives, adaptations and appropriate directions of enterprises will be a decisive factor for survival.

With the timely redirection of the Government, the pandemic is gradually being controlled in Ho Chi Minh

City, Hanoi, Binh Duong and other Mekong Delta provinces. Many provinces and businesses are quickly

easing social distancing and restarting production.

 

Thanh Thanh