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Sep 30, 2021 / 18:02

Vietnam works on single Covid-19 response policy

Vietnam is expected to transpose the country’s commitments in free trade agreements into law in compliance with international practices.

The National Assembly (NA) and the Government are working on a single Covid-19 response policy that is set to be adopted at both central and local levels with certain flexibility and modification given to localities.

 NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue at the meeting. Source: quochoi.vn

NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue made the view in an online meeting with the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) today [September 30].

“Different interpretations of the policy in various provinces would cause difficulties for enterprises, especially those having production activities across multiple localities,” Hue said.

According to Hue, one of Vietnam’s main driving forces for growth in the coming time would come from science, technologies, and innovation, for which an ecosystem for innovation is a priority for the country.

“Vietnam seeks more support from the business community, including the USABC, in the development of such an ecosystem and the digital transformation in the country,” Hue continued.

Regarding difficulties that businesses are facing due to the Covid-19 situation, Hue noted the NA and the Government have been providing numerous supporting policies for enterprises in terms of waiving and lowering fees and taxes.

The NA chairman mentioned his recent meeting with international and domestic experts in policy consultation, for which all shared the view of further pushing for both monetary and fiscal relief programs, with a greater focus on fiscal support.

“In addition to delaying payment of fees and taxes, we expect to continue providing support for businesses that are suffering losses or lacking working capital,” he added.

The NA Standing Committee has recently released resolution No.30/2021/QH15 approving a support program with finance sourced from the unemployment insurance fund worth VND30 trillion ($1.3 billion) to provide cash for around 13 million workers affected by the pandemic, including those at foreign enterprises.

 Overview of the online meeting.

As Vietnam is currently a member of major trade agreements, including the CPTPP, EVFTA, and RCEP, Hue expected US businesses to continue investing in Vietnam and take advantage of this market.

“The goal of the NA is to ensure a comprehensive, consistent and predictable legal system with stability and transparency, meeting Vietnam’s efforts in building a facilitating government and global integration,” Hue said, noting the legislative body aims to transpose all Vietnam’s commitments in free trade agreements into laws in compliance with international practices.

The NA would continue to lay the foundation for a green and digital economy, new business model while boosting the country’s climate resilience and application of sandbox approach at the national level, Hue added.

Hue expected US businesses and USABC to enhance policy dialogue with local authorities to not only address current shortcomings but also strive towards a win-win relationship for both the Government and businesses.

“Vietnam is committed to creating the most favorable conditions for both local and foreign enterprises doing business in the country,” Hue said.

“Difficulties that the businesses are facing are only temporary. Vietnam has solid fundamentals for enterprises from the two countries to cooperate and contribute to the mutual prosperity,” Hue said.

Promoting creative economy

At the meeting, US businesses expressed their delight as manufacturing plants in the southern region have resumed operation and called for more simplification in procedures to support the traveling of workers.

An example given by a representative of Nike showed that despite 80% of its workers at Dong Nai Province having been vaccinated, only 5% were able to return to work.

Nguyen Nguyet, director of Public Policy of Netflix in Southeast Asia, noted the creative economy, making up 3% of the GDP, 6% of the job creation, and nearly 4% of exports, should be among the country’s priorities for development.

Nguyet said from Netflix's perspective, the creative economy is an inseparable part with significant impacts on other economic components, including tourism and the digital economy.

The Netflix representative agreed on a comprehensive review regarding the draft of the Law on Cinematography to truly reflect the high value of the cultural industry.

On this issue, Chairman Hue stressed cinematography is an emerging industry, for which the law would serve as a platform to promote the sector development similar to other economic sectors, as well as in line with economic principles.

“Vietnam expects further support from US businesses in finalizing this law and its application to foster the cultural industry,” Hue said.

Vice President of the USABC Michael Michalak said this dialogue has opened up a new vision for cooperation between the USABC and NA bodies.

Michalak said the USABC is committed to working with Vietnam’s NA and US Parliament to strengthen cooperation between the two.