Vo Tien Dung - Director of External Relations, Community and Environment, Nui Phao Mining Co., Ltd.
The national COVID-19 vaccine fund plays a very important role in disease control as well as economic development. The fund also shows the good tradition and solidarity of the Vietnamese people, and contributes to reducing pressure on the state budget and ensuring vaccine access for all people in Vietnam.
The mobilisation and promotion of responsibility of people and businesses to fight COVID-19 is a great initiative, demonstrating the government’s flexibility to overcome difficulties. The vaccine fund will certainly make an important contribution to repel the pandemic, helping domestic enterprises soon return to normal and attract more foreign investment.
As one of the major enterprises in Thai Nguyen province, every year, Nui Phao spends billions of VND for socioeconomic development support for the local community.
Last June, the company donated 1,000 cloth masks to Thai Nguyen Provincial People’s Committee and contributed $13,000 to the province’s pandemic prevention fund.
The company always gives top priority for health protection of employees. Together with the owner group, Masan High-Tech Materials, the company also established a Masaners' fund to support quarantined workers, and conduct COVID-19 tests every seven days for employees and contractors. So far, nearly 2,400 tests have been performed by the Real-Time PCR method, and 38 senior office clerks have been vaccinated.
Hong Sun - Vice chairman, Korean Chamber of Business in Vietnam
The launch of the national pandemic vaccine fund to mobilise contributions from the people and businesses is a good initiative. We highly support this government’s effort because COVID-19 is not the fight of only the government, or an organisation, but also of the whole nation and businesses as well – and the contribution to the national vaccine fund is evidence of the solidarity of Vietnamese people.
To support this effort, South Korean enterprises in Vietnam have made contributions to the fund, and we will continue to support the country and its people in this fight.
At present, workers in industrial zones are being prioritised in order to get vaccinated, especially those in high-risk areas. This is not only a healthy solution but also shows the Vietnamese government’s attachment to importance to stablisation of production and safety of labourers.
We highly appreciate this government policy as many South Korean businesses in Vietnam are mainly focusing on production activities. In previous outbreaks they were not hit as hard, but this time is a different story.
Therefore, the COVID-19 vaccinations for workers at these industrial zones increase confidence among foreign investors in Vietnam, as well as importers of goods from the country.
Alain Cany - Chairman, European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam
The government’s vaccination fund is a good initiative in principle. The only way out of this current wave is an ambitious and accelerated mass vaccination programme, and the European business community wants to help Vietnam achieve this.
In practice, however, the fund needs some clarification in order to encourage the greatest possible contribution from international investors and private enterprises. One issue we face is that businesses are often not allowed to make donations to government funds. We want to be sure that the fund is transparent and that it is clear where donations will go.
EuroCham recommends that the government consider taking a two-track approach: where pure donations could make up one part of the fund, while a second stream would allow companies to purchase vaccinations for their workers and their families.
This second stream would help to reduce the financial burden on the government. If these concerns can be addressed, this fund could help accelerate Vietnam’s mass vaccination drive and ensure that we can return to normal life more quickly.
European companies can contribute to Vietnam’s vaccination drive through support with their vaccine knowledge; continuing to contribute to the COVAX scheme; and sharing logistical and technical expertise in the mass vaccination rollout. This includes not just our medical companies but also our members in logistics and other important sectors.
Aleksandrs Parfjonovs - Head of Vietnam Operations, Grindeks JSC
It is very well understood that the latest COVID-19 wave hit Vietnam probably harder than the others, but the government is trying its best to improve the situation by allowing private companies to import vaccines and set up funds.
Still, vaccinations are going much slower than is needed to achieve community immunity so Vietnam can get back to normal again. It would be great if the government would consider more support, including financial incentives, for companies willing to bring vaccines into Vietnam, as it is very difficult and often requires large investment.
Local facilities might be a good solution, however currently there is lack of suitable manufacturing and important distribution chains. The government should also allow companies to bring their own vaccines from abroad, to speed up vaccination and prioritise groups and areas.
I personally hope that there will be new regulations allowing shorter quarantine for vaccinated foreign experts, for example seven days, which is seen more and more commonly globally as Vietnam still needs experts to come to the country. To keep the economy going amid the current 21 days quarantine and seven days of self-isolation is unacceptable for most foreign experts, as this is one of the longest quarantine periods worldwide.
Pham Hoang Hai - Executive director, ICHAM Vietnam
In this period, vaccinations are the most effective way to help build protection. Many governments around the globe, including Vietnam’s, are accelerating mass vaccination programmes to achieve herd immunity in the shortest time possible.
However, the current vaccine production capacity in the world is still significantly below the actual needs of countries. Therefore, we evaluate the recent policy of the government to diversify supply sources of vaccines as a very effective and wise method.
In addition to protecting people’s health, one of the other important goals of the government is to restore the economy and strive to achieve that goal in the short and medium term. We feel that the establishment of a national vaccine fund to mobilise resources for society as well as business to overcome this difficulty is a reasonable initiative at this time.
We conducted a survey in the Italian business community operating in Vietnam and they all said they would rather pay for vaccinations for 100 per cent of their staff working in Vietnam. This proves the desire to support and work to share the financial burden with the government.
We also hope that the government will create conditions for a vaccine passport policy. We, as well as many entrepreneurs and businesses from Italy, are looking forward to having the opportunity to return to Vietnam to continue researching, investing and doing business in the market.