COVID-19 ravages economy of central Viet Nam

Tuesday, Apr 07, 2020 14:57

Wood-chips ready for loading at Da Nang port. Textile, wood export and manufacture sectors have been badly impacted by COVID-19. VNS Photo Cong Thanh

Da Nang City and Quang Nam Province – two key economic driving forces for the central region – have both suffered sharp reductions in growth in the first quarter due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While VND1.1 trillion (US$48 million) of public investment was disbursed in the first quarter, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Da Nang fell 80 per cent compared to the same period last year.

A report from the city’s planning and investment department unveiled that the city attracted 31 FDI projects worth $80 million in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the city granted investment licenses for two domestic projects in real estate with total VND7.7 trillion ($335 million).

In the first quarter, nearly 1,000 businesses were either dissolved or stopped operation due to difficulties related to COVID-19. There are 30,000 enterprises in the city, 95 per cent of them small- and medium-sized businesses.

The city’s tourism and service sector is set to lose an estimated US$870 million and 35,000 jobs due to the pandemic, according to the city’s tourism association.

In the first quarter, the city hosted only 1.3 million tourists, of which 700,000 were foreigners, a 31.2 per cent decrease with the previous quarter.

Neighbouring Quang Nam Province witnessed poor growth among many sectors in the first three months of this year.

Seafood processing and livestock had a 64 per cent reduction, and tourism fell 44.5 per cent in the same period last year, while automobile assembling and industrial manufacturing also reduced nearly 30 per cent.

The province received only 504,000 tourists in the first quarter and the number of foreign visitors saw a 28 per cent decrease.

Only four FDI projects were granted investment licenses in the first three months, worth a total $19 million, while 243 businesses stopped operation in the first quarter due to the pandemic.

In Quang Ngai Province, local industries also suffered from the pandemic. Many FDI projects could not hire enough foreign experts due to flight cancellations and stricter controls on foreigners entering the country.

Binh Son Refinery and petrochemical company – a major breadwinner for the provincial budget – saw its sales fall 30 to 40 per cent. Textile and wood-chip processing and export companies delayed production as material imports from China ceased.

Businesses in Thua Thien-Hue also suffered revenue decreases from 30 to 50 per cent, while taxi firms suffered an 80 per cent drop. — VNS

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