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Sep 10, 2021 / 21:55

Vietnam Gov’t issues new resolution to support businesses

Businesses are now allowed to self-conduct the Covid-19 test, while localities have the authorization to decide when to resume economic activities.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has signed off resolution No.105 providing more support for enterprises, cooperatives, and household businesses, which is expected to further ease the burden for the business community.

 Production of electronics at 4P Company in Hung Yen Province. Photo: Danh Lam

Among the highlights is the authorization for enterprises and businesses to self-conduct Covid-19 test for their employees. Such a move could help firms reduce their financial cost and lower risks of infection from mass gatherings.

The resolution assigned the Ministry of Health (MoH) to issue an instruction for businesses to buy testing kits, medical materials, and the subsequent verification process right this month.

“The task is essential for Vietnam to realize the twin goal of both containing the pandemic and supporting businesses to soon resume operation,” it added.

For laborers to soon return to work, the MoH should provide guidance for localities regarding Covid-19 testing and specific requirements for them to be able to travel.

Depending on the actual outbreak situation and vaccine coverage, each province/city should have a clear roadmap on how to proceed with current restriction measures, as they are now empowered to decide when to resume economic activities.

In this regard, localities should also work with businesses to set up measures and conditions for operation on the condition of safety.

The Ministry of Transport (MoH) is tasked with instructing localities on the consistent requirements for safety movement with simplified procedures so as to avoid disruption to the supply chains.

“There would be no new conditions or licenses, especially for basic necessities and production materials,” the resolution noted.

Meanwhile, the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) is now allowing businesses and cooperatives to submit scanned versions of requests for clearance with digital signatures, along with other necessary documents that previously should be provided in person.

Given the proliferation of Covid-19 apps, the Government asked the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to develop a digital platform integrating all activities from vaccination, testing, health declaration, green verification, among others, right in September.

The resolution continues to urge ministries and government agencies to step up efforts to reduce businesses cost and address their concern on working capital, focusing on waiving and freezing payment of social insurance and union fees in the 2021-2022 period; lowering maritime freight cost, electricity bill, land rental fees, or penalty of delay in social insurance premium payment in 2020-2021; expand the scope of rescheduling debt payment and lending rates for customers affected by the pandemic.

The Government would consider the extension of payment freezing for excise taxes and lowering the registration fees of domestically-produced cars in 2021.

Given the current concern on foreign experts entering Vietnam, each locality should adopt a more flexible approach and ease requirements on reissuing or extending the validity of work permits, while ensuring full compliance with anti-Covid-19 measures.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is expected to continue working on vaccine supplies and the transfer of technology production for Vietnam while speeding up the negotiation for recognition of vaccine passports with other countries as the step for reopening the economy.