ĐÀ NẴNG — Businesses in Đà Nẵng will be offered a 50 per cent reduction in fees for COVID tests and given vaccines to boost economic recovery by the end of this year.
Secretary of Đà Nẵng City's Party Committee, Nguyễn Văn Quảng made the commitment at the Đà Nẵng leadership-business dialogue with the participation of domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI) businesses on Friday.
Quảng said the city will soon reopen different economic activities and ease social distancing from October, provided that COVID-19 prevention and control measures remain in place.
"The city administrations will build economic recovery scenarios for businesses to ready production plans after social distancing orders are lifted," Quảng said.
"We always offer the best solutions in limiting pandemic-related damage for both domestic and foreign businesses in the city," he said.
"Revving up the vaccination programme and supporting businesses in testing and COVID-19 control will be prioritised from October to spark full operation at factories and industrial zones in the city.”
The city's party chief also said 80 per cent of workers had received their first vaccine shots, and the second shot will be provided from early October.
He stressed more flexible and smooth regulations and procedures will be offered to support the business community, residents and tourists.
Quảng said people will be given a QR Code to ease checks when they are travelling around the city.
Đà Nẵng, a tourism hub and key economic zone in central Việt Nam, has controlled its COVID-19 outbreak after a 20-day strict lockdown between August 16 and September 5, reducing the daily rate of infection from 200 cases to just a handful by late September.
Vice chairman of the city's People's Committee, Hồ Kỳ Minh, said 67 per cent of the city's population had got the first shot of vaccine, while 10 per cent had been fully vaccinated.
Minh said the city recorded 4,884 COVID-19 patients between May and September, but 87 per cent had been given the all-clear by September 24.
Call for help
A representative of the Japanese Business Association in Đà Nẵng, Ikeda Naoatsu, said many FDI businesses want to resume full operations after suffering damage due to COVID-19 over the past two years.
He said businesses lost profit and customers as social distancing and lockdowns prevented workers from travelling, leading to a shortage of staff on the production lines.
Naoatsu, who is general director of Daiwa Việt Nam, asked the city to speed up vaccinations and end the requirements on travel permits.
"We have been facing difficulties with travel permits as workers could not come to the factory. We could not complete procedures for the permits for thousands of workers quickly," Naoatsu said.
He asked the city to drop the travel permits, but maintain protection measures among residents and workers.
Naoatsu said traffic limits from province to province had disrupted the supply chain as trucks could not carry material from other provinces to Đà Nẵng.
"We asked the city to review travel certificates or allow vaccinated drivers to leave the city. Cargo loading and unloading sites at inter-provincial checkpoints are provided, while free traffic in industrial zones should remain.”
He called for regulations on quarantine to be changed to allow entry of foreign experts and engineers.
Kim Jong Bok, from LG Electronics, said staff had to work from home during social distancing, but poor internet connectivity caused issues.
He said the company had difficulties in recruitment and exchanging staff between branches in Việt Nam due to travel regulations.
"New staff from other provinces as well as those from Hà Nội and HCM City could not come to Đà Nẵng. Meanwhile, equipment from our parent company in Hải Phòng could not be transported to Đà Nẵng," Kim said.
Up to 538 enterprises in Đà Nẵng have permanently closed, while 2,200 others have suspended operation during the pandemic.
Vice chairman of the city's People's Committee, Hồ Kỳ Minh said at least VNĐ6 trillion ($260 million) had been spent on reductions and exemptions of taxes and fees.
He said revenue from tourism declined sharply in the first nine months this year with only VNĐ2 trillion ($87 million) – a third compared to the same period last year. While the city's state budget has collected only 69 per cent of its target at an approximate VNĐ15 trillion ($652 million).
At least 90 per cent of businesses called for a 50 per cent land rent cut; two or three years of debt payment extension as well as delayed payment of VAT, social insurance and two or three per cent reduction in bank loans.
The city plans for economic reopening by easing social distancing regulations, travel, transport and trade from October when 100 per cent of the population has had at least one shot of vaccine, the city's party chief, Nguyễn Văn Quảng said. — VNS
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