Businesses asked to ensure uninterrupted activities amid COVID-19 pandemic

Friday, Mar 13, 2020 08:29

Representatives of private corporations attend the meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo

Firms need to prepare plans to ensure uninterrupted business activities during the outbreak, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Thursday in a meeting with representatives of private economic groups in tourism, services, aviation, food and industry.

The Government was making preparations for not only an economic recovery but also economic growth after the outbreak, he said while listening to private business leaders' opinions and recommendations on national economic development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic spreading globally.

Major economies like China, Japan and the Republic of Korea would be able to recover quickly, so the PM Phuc urged businesses nationwide to grab this chance to turn challenges into opportunities.

According to PM Phuc, Viet Nam had about 800,000 businesses and millions of business households. Corporations and groups played an important role in fighting the pandemic.

He described the domestic business community as a bastion in the fight against diseases and social recession, and lauded their active role in job generation and ensuring the macro economy.

The leader asked enterprises and labourers to take preventive measures in order to help the country's battle.

PM Phuc reiterated the Government’s targets of containing the outbreak and stabilising the socio-economy.

He urged businesses to take advantage of opportunities provided by the Europe-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement and focus on the domestic market of 100 million people with high demand for quality products.

At the meeting, representatives of corporations and groups expressed their trust in the Government’s leadership in fighting COVID-19, saying that challenges brought by the outbreak also offered opportunities to activate changes to make businesses and the economy more responsive and stronger.

Nguyen Thi Nga, president of BRG Group, said 12,000 rooms and thousands of golf trips had been cancelled.

She asked the Government to reduce value added tax for businesses by half and extend the deadline for value added tax and rent payments between February and June.

Representatives of airlines said 30 to 40 per cent of their investment had been spent on fuel, proposing a reduction of fees for airports and fuel prices.

Although tourism is one of the sectors being hurt the most by the pandemic, representatives of tourism companies said the Government’s measures to limit the number of foreigners coming to Viet Nam was necessary.

They proposed that after the outbreak, campaigns were needed to remove fears among the community and help the sector recover.

A representative of Masan Group said its factories were working at full capacity to ensure domestic supplies, proposing it was time to develop e-commerce so that customers did not have to go out during the outbreak.

Tran Thai Duong, chairman of the board of director at Truong Hai Auto Corporation, said his company had found new opportunities in the difficult time and had switched its investment to the agricultural sector.

Despite these challenges, PM Phuc expressed his delight that some enterprises had changed their business models and maintained production. Viet Nam was still able to ensure production and curb price hikes, he said.

Many companies had done quite well in responding to COVID-19 by having online meetings and looking after workers.

PM Phuc asked businesses to restructure their models, focus on management, apply technology, strengthen connections and profit sharing.

The Government would reduce or exempt fees, taxes and interest, and extend payment deadlines for businesses suffering from serious losses due to COVID-19, he said.

He asked the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control to create conditions for foreign investors in Viet Nam in terms of immigration, but still strictly apply quarantine measures where necessary. — VNS

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