Covid-19 poses big challenges for US businesses in Vietnam

By Nhat Minh - Jun 04, 2021 | 03:09 PM GMT+7

TheLEADERAmCham called Vietnam to ease its lengthy quarantine period for vaccinated travellers.

According to American Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi (AmCham) in last survey, over 90 per cent of its members said the current Covid-19 outbreak has affected their business operations in Vietnam.

In detail, over 70 per cent of respondents say their company is currently restricting work travel in Vietnam. Around 90 per cent of AmCham members have cancelled work or personal travel due to the current outbreak that has found infections in 30 cities and provinces here.

“The coronavirus outbreak is causing anxiety and uncertainty across all business sectors in Vietnam,” said AmCham Executive director Adam Sitkoff. The biggest challenges are a lack of available vaccine to protect their team members, and not being able to bring necessary people here due to burdensome travel requirements and paperwork.

He recommended that the health and safety of people in Vietnam should remain the government’s number one priority. At the same time, it is important to recognize that in-bound travel brings in the foreign experts and business people necessary to facilitate new investment, efficient operations, key infrastructure, and more.

Survey results found that 81 per cent of members say their company would bring more people to Vietnam if the mandatory quarantine period was reduced from 21 days down to 7 days.

The pandemic is likely to continue causing disruption and locking people inside a room for many weeks might seem like a good idea today, but Vietnamese policymakers need to think seriously about a safe and simple system of documentation that will facilitate international arrivals here. Vaccines have proven safe and effective, Sitkoff said.

AmCham encourage authorities to implement less burdensome entry procedures for fully vaccinated business people, foreign experts, and maybe even tourists.

In the survey responses, AmCham members repeatedly stressed the need to get more people vaccinated.

In fact, 88 per cent of respondents said they or their company would pay money to receive a high-quality vaccine here. The AmCham Executive director again offered to gather financial resources from companies if the government would guarantee quick vaccine availability for their team members.

Sitkoff added that vaccine availability is the top issue on the minds of AmCham members right now and that until many more people get jabbed in the arm, we will likely see additional outbreaks and disruption from the virus.