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Hanoi (VNA) – Despite the complexity of the fourth COVID-19 wave , Vietnam’s GDP growth is forecast to exceed 6.5 percent this year on the back of surging industrial production and global economic recovery, according to Assoc. Prof. and PhD Dinh Trong Thinh, a senior economist from the Academy of Finance.
Given the economy is growing well in the first half of 2021, it is likely to expand over 7 percent in the remaining months, setting the scene for the country to achieve an overall GDP growth of at least 6.5 percent this year, Thinh told the Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper.
The coronavirus is gradually brought under control, he said, plus domestic production has been experiencing positive growth, with manufacturing and processing picking up at a current rate of 10 percent. The sector may rise by 17 – 18 percent during the final months of 2021, he added.
Data shows that industrial production index in the first five months of the year advanced 9.9 percent year-on-year, with manufacturing and processing up 12.6 percent. Total retail sales of goods and services hiked 7.6 percent year-on-year.
Thinh went on to say that the US, Chinese and EU economies are bouncing back, and increases in global credit demand will provide a good opportunity for Vietnam’s exports. The US’s economic growth remains positive at present and Vietnam’s shipments to the US is growing strong, he added.
A recent report by RongViet Securities Corporation (VDSC) forecast that the country’s GDP will grow by 7.2 percent in the second quarter of 2021 and 6.5 percent for the year as a whole.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director for Vietnam Andrew Jeffries said Vietnam is capable of achieving the twin goals of curbing the pandemic and sustaining economic growth this year. The country’s success in containing the virus has strengthened foreign investors’ confidence in its economy, he added.
It is important for Vietnam to boost growth and easy ways for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow at the same time, thereby creating a solid foundation for a future private sector-led economy, Jeffries remarked.
According to the latest economic outlook report from Oxford Economics (OE), commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), despite the recent resurgence in COVID-19, Vietnam’s growth outlook remains optimistic and the economy is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by the second half of 2021.
The country’s GDP is forecast to grow at 7.6 percent in 2021, among the highest rates in the region, the report said, noting that Vietnam was one of the few economies in the world to grow in 2020 due to its success in containing the pandemic.
“This early success enabled the economy to benefit from the surge in global trade activity and enjoy strong foreign direct investment flows that boosted export-oriented and manufacturing industries,” according to the report.
It said together with Singapore, Vietnam is expected to continue leading the region in recovery. “Despite a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam, which has affected its manufacturing sector and export industries, its economy is predicted to rebound swiftly once restrictions are lifted,” the report read.
Economist Thinh emphasized that the most important thing at present is that Vietnam must give priority to giving COVID-19 vaccine to workers and preventing the virus from spreading inside companies and industrial parks.
Accelerating COVID-19 vaccine inoculation and keeping the coronavirus at bay remain key factors to sustain growth because with the COVID-19 resurging, declining incomes and economic conditions will have long-term impact on consumers’ spending behaviour and lifestyle, he said./.
Workers at a Ha Tay Chemical Weave Co.Ltd in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi, June 15 (VNA) – Despite facing difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s footwear industry still achieved double-digit growth and some companies have received long-term orders.
Dang Van Ngoc, Director of Tan Phat Leather Shoes and Wallets Company Limited, said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic , especially during the outbreak in Europe, customers in this market cancelled 80 percent of orders.
Its turnover reached 320 billion VND (13.9 million USD) last year with two million pair of shoes. The figure is expected to rise to 380 billion VND (16.5 million USD) this year. European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). tax incentives as well as opportunities brought about by the EVFTA, according to the MoIT.
Of the new patients, 138 were recorded in the northern Bac Giang Province and they are all linked to clusters at its industrial parks.
HCMC got 38 cases, including 31 that have had direct contact with previously confirmed patients and two linked to the Christian congregation cluster emerging on May 26 in Go Vap District. For the remaining five cases, the health authorities are still investigating their source of infection.
Bac Ninh Province that borders Bac Giang reported 21, including 16 related to clusters at its industrial parks, two linked to a hotspot in Thuan Thanh District, and two having had contact with Covid-19 patient. The source of transmission of the remaining case is still unclear.
Binh Duong Province, a HCMC’s neighbor, recorded 12 cases that are all linked to two previously confirmed patients.
The case in northern Lang Son Province is a 26-year-old woman linked to the cluster at the Quang Chau industrial park in Bac Giang.
Tuesday’s infection tally is the second highest daily number since the fourth wave broke out in Vietnam, only after 444 recorded on May 25.
With the new patients added, Vietnam has recorded 7,997 local Covid-19 cases in 40 cities and provinces since the new wave started on April 27.
Bac Giang has continued to have the highest infections so far, with 4,401 cases, followed by Bac Ninh with 1,415 and HCMC with 961.
Since April 29, Vietnam has tested almost 4.82 million people.
At the launch of the COVID-19 Vaccine Fund by the government on June 5, GREENFEED announced its commitment to donating VND20 billion ($869,570) to the fund, to join hands with the government to procure and distribute the vaccine to Vietnamese people, especially disadvantaged people with limited access to the vaccine.
|Dao Le Vu, general director of Northern Livestock Industry (left), representative of GREENFEED Vietnam donated VND20 billion to the COVID-19 Vaccine Fund|
Through this donation, GREENFEED – a leading company with 18 years of experience offering integrated Feed-Farm-Food (3F) chain solutions – hopes to contribute to speeding up the process of herd immunity for people to overcome the pandemic safely.
Since the resurgence of the pandemic, the company has resumed its programme to donate thousands of safe and tasty meals made from G Kitchen clean products to frontline workforces and people in need to help them stay strong and healthy during this challenging time.
|All GREENFEED staffs have made enthusiastic efforts to share difficulties with the community and support the frontline workers to complete their mission in COVID-19 time.|
Over 7,000 products have been distributed to medical facilities such as the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Cu Chi District Hospital, and Cu Chi Field Hospital.
In addition, the food products are periodically donated to orphanages to improve meal nutrition and enhance health for children amid the ongoing pandemic. This is part of GREENFEED’s Bua An Tron Ven programme to deliver one million healthy and tasty meals to those in need of social support in 2021.
With regards to consumers, GREENFEED and G Kitchen through their distribution channels have launched promotion and subsidy programmes for families so that they can consume delicious, healthy, and safe products during the social distancing period.
|Over 7,000 products from GREENFEED have been distributed to medical facilities with the hope of bringing healthy and delicious meals to frontline forces|
The company also offers a 20 per cent discount for consumers when buying G Kitchen pork products at AEON, LOTTE Mart, Co.opmart, Emart, and Tops Market supermarkets in Ho Chi Minh City and Bien Hoa city in Dong Nai province. Other promotional programmes at the Clean Meat Store chain and on G Kitchen website/application take place in the first three weeks of June to serve the needs of consumers.
Facing unpredictable developments of the pandemic, all GREENFEED staff have made enthusiastic efforts to share difficulties with the community and support frontline workers to complete their mission. At the same time, the efforts are to spread humane and compassionate values that the company is constantly aiming for.
By Anh Duc
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Rana Flowers, Representative of UNICEF Việt Nam, which co-ordinates the purchase and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines for Việt Nam through the COVAX initiative, talks to Việt Nam News reporter Khánh Vân about the significance of the country’s COVID-19 vaccine fund in ensuring vaccine access for all
Việt Nam has officially launched its COVID-19 vaccine fund. What do you think about this initiative? What measures are needed to mobilise different resources to contribute to the vaccine fund amid the context of a limited State budget and difficulties caused by the pandemic?
The people of Việt Nam are ready and willing to be vaccinated according to an online survey conducted in May by UNICEF. The survey received close to 38,774 respondents coming from all 63 provinces. The findings will be released shortly, but very reassuring are the 67 per cent who are eager and the 24 per cent who are inclined to get the vaccine. This reflects an understanding that getting the vaccine is the path to ending the creation of new viral variants and preventing the worst impact of the virus on our loved ones.
The willingness to get the vaccine bodes extremely well for Việt Nam and for the vaccination rollout to get Việt Nam open to get business back on track.
The companies that have produced the vaccines have invested billions to get the vaccines ready, to have them tested on a range of populations and now to be distributed. For example, by the end of July, through the COVAX mechanism, UNICEF will have brought in 4.1 million doses of COVAX vaccines which represent a contribution of US$17 million. So by the time we bring in 38 million doses of vaccines through the COVAX, we are looking at a significant contribution coming from very generous governments all over the world.
The Government of Việt Nam has made a commitment to vaccinate 70-80 per cent of the population with 150 million doses. We know this entails procurement, in addition to COVAX, of another 112 million more doses. To break this virus, our goal is to distribute equitably the vaccines to reach across all 63 provinces. The vaccines have to be safely delivered with trained health staff, kept at the right temperature with efficient cold chain equipment. And all of that needs a budget.
Businesses are among the keenest to see Việt Nam open and thrive and among the most eager to have their workers protected from the virus and from the crippling economic woes if their business needs to close. Thus, their willingness to fund and to support the effective rollout of the vaccine is both a wonderful message of solidarity as well as investment in their staying open for business. It makes sense for the Government to reach out to the business community, national and international companies who understand that the vaccine is going to be the game-changer in terms of managing the COVID-19 virus and who want to make a contribution to ensuring that the Government can not only buy vaccines but also can distribute them safely and effectively.
UNICEF really welcomes the pooled fund. We really appreciate the national solidarity that has been shown in pooling funds together. Vaccines are a public good and in UNICEF’s view, they should be provided free of charge to the population, particularly the prioritised groups as well as vulnerable, poor and near-poor populations. It is the case that in every country, it should be the Government that manages and controls these processes, that purchases the vaccine, controls those purchases and ensures safe distribution.
There is also funding support coming from long time partners such as the government of Australia’s contribution to vaccine purchases. And there are many national and international businesses that are willing and able to contribute funding.
Could you give some recommendations to help the Government effectively manage and use this fund?
It is very important in UNICEF’s view that the Government controls that funding and there is a transparent information flow on how the funding is received and how it is being used.
It is also really important that UNICEF continues to emphasise that there should be an equitable distribution of the vaccines to all of the priority groups and to the poor and most vulnerable populations. It should not be the case of only those who can pay get vaccinated.
There has been a recommendation by the Government to allow 36 companies to purchase and bring in vaccines.
UNICEF strongly supports the creation of the fund but has significant concerns regarding a suggestion that individual companies could purchase and bring vaccines into Việt Nam. There are a number of reasons for that.
The safety of the transportation of the vaccines is incredibly important, the understanding where that vaccine is purchased to make sure we are not getting fraudulent vaccines is also important and being able to manage the cost that is paid for vaccines so that it will not escalate the price because some people can pay more and want it quicker.
The Government should manage and control all of the procurement and distribution. Vaccine rollout, in general, is the key life-saving intervention of our lifetime – we cannot risk losing the trust and faith of the people in the power and effectiveness of our processes to keep vaccines safe. I would really advocate for all vaccine purchases and distribution to only be done by the Ministry of Health.
In your opinion, what should be done more to ensure vaccine access for all people in Việt Nam?
All 63 provinces have now made plans for vaccine rollout. This will get more complicated as more vaccines come into the country. As different vaccines arrive in Việt Nam, health workers need to have training on how to give the jabs, with which kind of syringe, and what to expect and be prepared for in terms of reactions to the vaccine. In the priority group for receiving the vaccines, future groups to be organised for vaccination are the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. Planning for and organising the rollout to these groups is even more complicated. Richer provinces can manage those operating costs and have the teams on hand to be able to do the planning. But there is a need in the poorer provinces for additional human resources and funding to keep the rollout safe and the pace of vaccination at the optimum level. In many countries, a whole Government response has been mobilised – from finance ministry support from the outset, defence ministry support with logistics and so on.
Finally, I would predict that an area for Government investment – where they will see a strong return on their investment – is to now support the extensive testing and thereafter the manufacture of the vaccines under development in Việt Nam. This is a long game – not a short sprint. We will all be receiving boosters and annual shots for many years to come. While we most likely will not see these vaccines being ready for the general public this year – there will be a lot of savings in the future for Việt Nam to have a locally produced effective vaccine.
Việt Nam is searching for COVID-19 vaccines to fulfil the goal of reaching herd immunity by the end of 2021. This means we have six more months to go to have at least 75 per cent of the population inoculated against COVID-19 which would require 150 million vaccine doses. Do you think this is feasible?
It is hard to predict, but there are new production sites being created, and so every effort is being made to end the global supply challenges that have created a delay in accessing the vaccines that every country is experiencing. I believe we will see more vaccines available in the third and fourth quarter – and the challenge will be to be very organised to manage large numbers of vaccines being rolled out. At this point in time, some of the production locations have not been able to produce the number they had hoped and others have had to divert their vaccines for the local population. There are more vaccine production facilities coming and they are approved by the WHO and they will gear up their production.
UNICEF anticipates that production will rapidly increase in the third quarter so that all of the commitments that have been made through the COVAX mechanism and through other channels will also be largely delivered by the end of the fourth quarter.
It is also important to note that there has been a big push from UNICEF and the WHO to encourage those governments who over-ordered and who have an excess of vaccines to donate their surplus supplies. Last week, the government of Japan already identified that they would be donating some vaccines to Việt Nam. The US government has likewise indicated that they will donate vaccines to Việt Nam and I believe that European countries, the EU, the UK and others will also look at that kind of donation in the future. Those numbers may not be huge but they will certainly be ticking off several million doses of vaccines for the people of Việt Nam. — VNS