Sep 14, 2021 / 20:43

Hanoi businesses prepare for reopening post social-distancing period

Hanoi is expected to ease restriction measures after September 21.

As the Covid-19 situation in Hanoi is showing signs of improvement, the local business community has already looked at plans for reopening and adapt to a new normalcy.

 Production at M2 Company. Photo: Khac Kien

At Thai Minh Hi-tech Company in Thach That Industrial Park, Quoc Oai District, 90% of the workforce are in service under the “3-on-site principles” (on-site production, on-site eating, on-site rest) from 40% previously thanks to the loosened restriction measures based on risk assessment.

“Such measures have been useful in addressing the issue of labor shortage for companies,” the company’s Director Do Viet Ha told The Hanoi Times.

General Director of Garment 10 Company Than Duc Viet said the city’s adoption of stay-at-home orders for the past 40 days has led to disruption in the supply chains, especially in the garment and export activities.

“There would be the severe consequence if the whole city is under lockdown while there are a few infection cases in certain areas,” Viet told The Hanoi Times, adding classifying the city into three zones according to Covid-19 risk levels (red, orange, green)  would help businesses operate safely.

At present, Garment 10 factories are located in the orange zone, or area of high risk, which means the company is still allowed to operate as normal and continue to fulfill orders from abroad, he added.

“The measure has been able to serve both goals of fending off the pandemic and ensuring economic growth,” Viet said.

“Along with strict anti-Covid-19 restrictions in place, Garment 10 have been working on raising workers’ awareness on the current outbreak, so that they can protect not only themselves, their families but also the community as well,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Viet said the company’s board of directors is revising anti-Covid-19 plans regularly to better adapt to the situation and assess the risk of infection inside the plants.

“We are working with the local authorities to provide the second vaccine shots to our employees in Hanoi, eventually to the entire workforce in seven provinces/cities,” he noted.

General Director of M2 Vietnam Nguyen Hai Duong said the pandemic has dealt a big blow to the garment industry.

“Workers in M2 companies have been requested to fully comply with anti-Covid-19 regulations both during and after working hours,” Duong told The Hanoi Times.

Duong said the company has worked out plans to resume operation once restriction measures in the city are lifted, noting changes are now being made on an hourly or daily basis, instead of quarterly or monthly.

According to Duong, M2 has also been active in searching for new orders to ensure a steady stream of revenues and strengthened linkage with other firms in the value chains to support each other.

Director of Song Phuong Trading and Manufacturing Company Nguyen Thi Phuong expected consumer demand for farm produce and food to recover and stabilize once the lockdown is over.

“The key question would be to balance supply and demand when firms restart businesses, especially when consumers are expected to tighten their spending at first,” Phuong told The Hanoi Times.

In this context, Phuong said priorities for businesses are to streamline operations to keep their products at competitive prices with high quality, focusing on those that are matching consumers’ preferences in the post-pandemic period.

Creating utmost conditions for businesses
 

In an online meeting on September 12, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Manh Quyen said the city would abolish the current zoning scheme after September 21, and allow certain services and production activities to resume.

Quyen called for localities to draft new restriction measures after the timeline while taking on measures for enterprises to get back to business.

Acting Director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade Tran Thi Phuong Lan said the agency would continue to work with related units to develop a recovery plan in line with the city’s progress in Covid-19 containment.

“Strict measures continue to be in force in high risks areas, while economic activities would return to normal in safer localities,” she stressed.

“The economy cannot wait until the pandemic is fully contained. The local business community is looking for more flexible and drastic measures from the authorities to resume operation and ensure the twin goals,” said Vice Chairman of the Hanoi Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Hanoisme) Mac Quoc Anh.