US companies concerned about COVID-19 resurgence and vaccine availability in Vietnam

May 24, 2021 | 14:50
The latest coronavirus outbreak is causing anxiety and uncertainty for US businesses across all sectors in Vietnam, but expectations of more vaccine availability promise more stable operations in the coming time.
us companies concerned about covid 19 resurgence and vaccine availability in vietnam
US companies are concerned about the COVID-19 resurgence and vaccine availability in Vietnam

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi (AmCham) surveyed its members last Friday about the business impact of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Vietnam. The survey focused on business operations, travel and activity restrictions, burdensome procedures for in-bound arrivals, and the availability of vaccines in Vietnam.

Accordingly, over 90 per cent of AmCham members responding to the survey said the current outbreak has affected their business operations. The biggest challenges are a lack of available vaccines to protect their team members and not being able to bring necessary people into the country due to burdensome travel requirements and paperwork.

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 health and safety of people in Vietnam should remain the government’s No.1 priority. At the same time, it is important to recognise that in-bound travel brings in the foreign experts and business people necessary to facilitate new investment, efficient operations, key infrastructure, education of Vietnamese children, and more," AmCham's executive director Adam Sitkoff said.

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 to seven days.

"The pandemic will likely continue causing disruptions and lock people inside a room for many weeks which 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. AmCham encourages authorities to implement less burdensome entry procedures for fully vaccinated business people, foreign experts, and maybe even tourists,” Sitkoff added.

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. He 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 here."

By Thanh Van

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