European business leaders now urge the government to go further and faster, harnessing the power of private enterprises and allowing companies to vaccinate their staff out of their own pockets.
|European business leaders urge COVID-19 vaccination drive |
With Vietnam in the midst of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) has asked its members how the private sector can support the government’s vaccination drive and how the pandemic is impacting their business operations.
Accordingly, four in five business leaders (79 per cent) agreed that businesses should be able to inoculate their workforce. This would reduce the burden on the state budget while also helping to accelerate the government’s vaccination drive.
Alain Cany, chairman of EuroCham, said, “Vietnam has been one of the world leaders in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Swift border closures, strict quarantine measures, and targeted local lockdowns have kept infections low and enabled domestic business activities to resume."
“However, this is not a permanent solution and it cannot continue for much longer without damaging economic growth. While Vietnam’s borders are closed, other countries are rolling out vaccinations and re-opening their doors to the world. So there is now a real risk that Vietnam could fall behind unless it implements its own mass vaccination programme at scale and pace," he added.
On the same note, Guido Hildner, German Ambassador to Vietnam, added, "The vaccination progress in Germany is decisive for economic recovery. For this reason, too, we encourage and support our partners like Vietnam to do whatever possible to further speed up their vaccination programmes. That is why Germany is working to ensure rapid global delivery of COVID-19 vaccines as part of the COVAX initiative."
"Germany is the second-biggest donor to the COVAX initiative which has already delivered 2.49 million COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam. In Germany, those who have been vaccinated are no longer subject to restrictions such as quarantine or regular testing. This is also a great relief for German companies,” he added.
Besides vaccination, EuroCham members also encourage the government to ease quarantine regulations for investors and experts who have been vaccinated in their home countries. Over two-thirds of business leaders (70 per cent) reported that their companies face obstacles from the current restrictions.
Meanwhile, 79 per cent said that the three-week quarantine would lead to fewer specialists coming to Vietnam. This could hit foreign investment and hurt the business operations of companies that depend on these essential technicians.
More than four in five EuroCham members (81 per cent) believe that the government should now reduce the quarantine regulations for vaccinated foreign experts and their families to one week maximum and simplify the procedure to address this issue.
The EuroCham/YouGov data also shows that the government’s communications campaign on visa and border issues has been a huge success, with 81 per cent of European business leaders understanding the regulations.