12th Vietnam-France decentrialized cooperation conference 31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Apr 29, 2020 / 12:27

Vietnam PM allows export of medical masks after initial coronavirus control

With the annual garment revenues of US$39 billion, Vietnam holds the potential of becoming a face mask manufacturing hub.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved a plan on exporting surgical masks, Covid-19 drugs, and medical equipment after the country reported no coronavirus cases in the community for 10 days.

 Vietnam has large production capacity of surgical masks. Photo: Dan Tri

The products for export must be of good quality to preserve the national prestige.

As per the request by the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control, exporters are eligible to export surgical masks without a quota on quantity and conditions of export.

Producers in Vietnam are now required to export 25% at most of their total surgical masks and the remaining for domestic consumption. Under a new draft regulation by the Ministry of Health, local producers could be allowed to export up to 80% of their products as the country has successfully contain the pandemic.

With the garment sector bringing annual export revenues of US$39 billion, Vietnam has turned into a manufacturing hub of surgical masks and anti-bacterial cloth masks. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, some 50 firms are capable of producing eight million anti-bacterial cloth masks per day.

 Inside a military-run face mask factory. Photo: Thanh Nien

Local firms have signed a number of contracts to export face masks and received positive feedback.

However, local economists warned that domestic producers must be cautious in investing in mask production equipment as the face mask is a seasonal product and the demand largely depends on the world’s consumption.

Regarding the quality of face masks, the Vietnam Trade Office in Belgium and Europe has warned domestic producers of quality, suggesting the companies give the top priority to quality.

Economist Vo Tri Thanh reminded local makers of China's low quality face masks that face lawsuits by European countries. “Vietnamese producers must be aware of the national prestige in making this kind of product,” he emphasized.