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Apr 24, 2020 / 08:47

Less than 10% of enterprises suspend operations on Covid-19: Survey

Enterprises have been more active in adjusting their business strategies at a time when the pandemic is set to stay for a long period.

Only 8% from 358 enterprises surveyed by the Private Economic Development Research Board (Board IV) said they have to suspend operations due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey, which took place from April 7 to 13, assesses the impacts of the pandemic on both domestic and foreign-invested enterprises, as well as compiles their recommendations and measures to cope with the crisis.

 Data: Board IV. Chart: Nguyen Tung. 

It is worth mentioning that while in the previous first survey in March, only 5% of enterprises said they had taken measures to prevent the pandemic, the rate in the latest survey has now gone up to 100% for those maintaining operations at present.

Notably, 6% have turned their production facilities into “a quarantine zone“ to ensure safety and avoid any disruption in operations, which could be seen as a creative solution to maintain continuity of operations, the survey showed.

The survey revealed 52% of the enterprises said they are using internet for remote working, sales, marketing or online study and consulting, compared to a modest rate of 3% in the previous survey.

Meanwhile, enterprises have been more active in adjusting their business strategies at a time when the pandemic is set to stay for a long period. 16% are looking for markets, customers or developing new products using online platform, more than double the rate in March.

Around 5% have changed business directions and 4% have moved to diversify their products and enhance quality.

Additionally, 10% of the surveyed enterprises said they “do not have appropriate measures against the pandemic”, less than half from the last survey.

However, Board IV said only 3% are putting efforts in long-term solutions, such as R&D, while 2% have made risk management plans.

“Vietnamese enterprises have not paid sufficient attention to the strategic aspects and only focus on short-term plans, an issue that should be properly addressed in the future,” said Board IV.

In this survey, 4% of the enterprises said they were forced to lay off their employees, 10% are struggling for solutions, and 27% chose to adjust working hours. Nearly 26% are putting their employees on furlough and 17% give workers paid leave.

In addition to enterprises’ own efforts, Board IV recommended the government should provide supporting policies for specific groups of businesses by reducing corporate tax, value added-tax, among others.

Board IV also suggested the government widen its financial aid to more enterprises, instead of focusing on those having revenue shaved by at least 50% or laying off 50% of workforce.

This would help prevent cases in which the support comes too late and loses effectiveness, said Board IV.

In the long term, Board IV said the government should consider strategies and policies to prepare for a new economic order in the post-pandemic period so that the economy could take full advantage of arising opportunities.