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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Only 1% of American businesses plan to withdraw from Vietnam

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Only 1% of American businesses plan to withdraw from Vietnam, according to the latest survey of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam).

Meanwhile, 29% said they were planning expansion and 49% said they would stay and increase investment, AmCham Vietnam’s “Prospects for Reopening, Recovery, and Rebound” survey showed.

Besides, 18% of American businesses in Vietnam said they would stay but may target new investments elsewhere, and 3% will stay but will shift some production elsewhere.

Some 25% of enterprises expect to get back to normal by the end of this year. Meanwhile, 37%, 29% and 6% expect to resume their normal operations in the first quarter of 2022, the second quarter of 2022 and the second half of 2022, respectively.

Only 3% believed their operations would not return to normal until 2023.

International travel restrictions, supply chain disruptions, domestic travel restrictions, Government policies over the treatment of Covid patients and labor shortages are the key factors limiting the operations of American businesses in Vietnam.

The businesses said they are facing labor shortages, as many workers have returned to their hometowns, schools have closed and parents are struggling with managing work and online learning.

Complicated procedures for foreign experts and the hesitation of workers to return to the workplace are the other reasons for the labor shortage.

Approximately 80% of American businesses are offering flexible work schedules and work-from-home options to attract workers and retain them.

Assurances of vaccine access, cash incentives, transportation back from home provinces and assistance with childcare and housing are other incentives on offer.

They suggested that the central or provincial governments streamline procedures for the travel of foreign experts, reopen schools and offer transportation for workers back from their home provinces.

Up to 79% of American businesses said inconsistency among provinces is their biggest concern over the anti-pandemic policies.

They also expressed concerns over the requirement that Covid patients, even those who are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, would be sent to centralized quarantine facilities.

Some 33% said decreased revenue due to a lack of customers is their greatest financial challenge related to Covid.

Other financial challenges include decreased revenues since they could not meet the demand for sales due to lockdowns, the cost of testing, the cost of paying employees in isolation, the cost to pay incentives to attract or retain staff and higher logistics/freight costs.

Up to 67% of American businesses operating in Vietnam have 100% of their workforce fully vaccinated, while 24% said over 80% had been fully vaccinated. Only 2% said less than 40% of their workforce had been fully vaccinated. 

Most American businesses think consistent policies throughout the country and herd immunity would be the key elements of a roadmap for a rebound in Vietnam.

They also proposed streamlined procedures for foreign expert approvals and travel, assistance for affected businesses, including reduced taxes and utilities and low-interest loans, and assistance to affected individuals, including food and housing.

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