Adaptability and flexibility
Many countries around the world are shifting their COVID response, adopting a long-term strategy of adapting to the pandemic, and making vaccines and drugs their focus. Many say COVID-19 will become a seasonal illness like the flu and lockdowns should be discontinued because it’s impossible to completely control the illness.
Vietnam's approach is to continue with prevention measures, vaccination, and technology. One refinement is that “where the disease occurs, it will be handled in a targeted manner". Provinces that have the pandemic under control will continue with their strategy of early detection, tracing, zoning, isolation, and treatment, while simultaneously relaxing production and business restrictions. These adjustments embrace the ‘coexistence’ models of safe education, safe travel, and safe production.
Key industries prioritized
Currently, not all enterprises are able to resume operation nor can they operate with the same production capacity as before. Priority will be given to reviving key enterprises, which play a role in ensuring national competitiveness.
|Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan (Photo: baoquocte.vn)
The agriculture sector is building a model of production and distribution that assumes COVID-19 will continue to be around for a long time, according to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan.
“We will build a distribution database to keep track of what amount of which products will be harvested in each province, so that the distribution system can prepare sufficient warehousing and transportation. We will also build a system to transport products from farms to the distribution network,” Mr. Hoan said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is helping localities boost their domestic sales and expand their exports of agricultural products. Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai said studies have been done to assess the potential market for key agricultural, forestry, and fishery products in key export markets, particularly Vietnam’s free trade partners.
“On the basis of that review, we have asked the Prime Minister to direct localities to help local enterprises reorganize production and restore the export supply chain. The Export Promotion Plan for the post-COVID-19 period must be completed by the end of this year,” Mr. Hai said.
|Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai (Photo: danviet.vn)
Economists say priority should be given to value chains, the pillar of economic growth. There should be a deferment or reduction of taxes and fees and similar incentives. Each business should have an immediate and a long-term plan for resuming.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said businesses should develop pandemic adaptation scenarios on their own.
“Sooner or later the pandemic will be controlled, so we must return to normal life. In difficult times, opportunities emerge. Markets that have a great demand for Vietnamese goods, like the United States and the European Union, are reviving. We must identify opportunities as they arise and be ready for an efficient recovery. This is an opportunity to improve every enterprise’s administration. In the long run, it's not just about recovery, but adapting to the pandemic in a way that enables growth,” Mr. Doanh said.
An Asian Development Bank report published on Tuesday had an optimistic outlook on Vietnam's growth prospects in the medium and long term. Growth can be reinforced by a recovery in domestic demand, accelerated disbursement of public investment, expansion into new export markets brought about by free trade agreements, and digital transformation.