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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Only 250 firms in Mekong Delta remain operational

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Among the 75,000 enterprises in the Mekong Delta, only 250 firms remain operational but at 20%-40% capacity, said Nguyen Phuong Lam, director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Can Tho City (VCCI Can Tho).

From June to August, the number of bankrupt enterprises surged to over 1,800, Thanh Nien Online newspaper reported, citing a report by VCCI Can Tho.

Lam said the proportion of suspended enterprises in the Mekong Delta had doubled the country’s average.

When the pandemic broke out in the region, VCCI Can Tho established a working team to keep a close watch on the impact of the pandemic on the region’s economy and enterprises in the region, learn about their difficulties and make proposals to localities.

Despite the high number of new Covid-19 cases, the pandemic in the Mekong Delta has gradually been brought under control. Localities have also worked on plans to help enterprises resume operations in the new normal.

However, the vaccination coverage at enterprises in the Mekong Delta remains limited. In the region, Long An has the highest vaccination rate with over 809,000 doses and 4.3% of residents getting the second shot.

In Can Tho City, the center of the region, only over 20% of residents have received the first shot and 3.3% have got the second shot.

Vo Dong Duc, general director of the Can Tho Import Export Seafood JSC, said the operations of seafood firms in Can Tho and the Mekong Delta as a whole had nearly been brought to a standstill. For example, enterprises processing tra fish for export need fresh fish and enough employees. However, they are facing a shortage of materials and manpower.

Many of them have applied the stay-at-work mode but in vain as their scale is small, Duc noted, adding that seafood enterprises need favorable conditions so they can maintain production.

According to Pham Thai Binh, general director of Trung An Hi-Tech Farming JSC, rice enterprises in the Mekong Delta region have faced an inventory of 85% due to the pandemic, so they are in need of loans to buy rice from farmers as the harvest season is coming.

VCCI Can Tho Director Lam made three proposals to help enterprises in the Mekong Delta. Specifically, he asked the State Bank of Vietnam to issue support policies in loan interest and extend the loan payment deadlines this year.

In addition, policies to reduce and exempt taxes and social insurance should be worked out as enterprises have earned no revenue and have to cover costs to maintain production.

The central bank should direct commercial banks to boost the consumption of farm produce by issuing preferential loans and raising loans for enterprises purchasing farm produce.

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