Enterprises accelerate production, business recovery

SGGP
After more than half a month of loosening social distancing, Ho Chi Minh City records that 60 percent of enterprises have restored production with a scale of up to 83 percent. The relaxation of social distancing, along with the resumption of the transportation system from the city to other provinces, has created favorable conditions for enterprises to speed up production.
Enterprises accelerate production, business recovery ảnh 1
Releasing the spring

Mr. Chu Tien Dung, Chairman of HCMC Union of Business Association, informed that businesses had actively worked with workers and partners to increase production and resolve backlogged orders to create conditions to receive new orders. Mr. Do Phuoc Tong, Chairman of the Board of Members of Duy Khanh Mechanical Company, said that the company restored 98 percent of production capacity while the remaining 2 percent was waiting for replenishment. This enterprise has been closely contacting relevant authorities to determine the pandemic-free areas to support safe accommodation for workers.

According to Hepza, up to now, nearly 200,000 out of 288,000 workers have returned to work. Many enterprises have restored production to 90 percent of capacity.
Mr. Nguyen Van Be, Chairman of the Hepza Business Association, said that after 15 days of remanufacturing, 1,500 enterprises, including 500 FDI enterprises - an important link in the global supply chain - had resumed operations. It is estimated that 60 percent of enterprises have restored production with a scale of 83 percent. The current situation at factories shows that the city's solution of living with the pandemic has brought some effectiveness. For instance, at Freetrend Company, which used to stopped production because of Covid-19 cases, more than 4,800 workers have returned to the factory since the beginning of October. In the past 15 days, there were about 20 cases of Covid-19 but, with support from the authorities, businesses prevented the pandemic from recurring, disinfected the factories, took workers for treatment, and maintained production.

The textile, garment, and footwear sectors previously faced difficulties in finding workers but now have basically returned to normalcy. Mr. Pham Xuan Hong, Chairman of HCMC Association of Garment, Textile, Embroidery, and Knitting, said that Saigon 3 Garment Joint Stock Company had 80 percent of workers back to work. Many other large-scale member enterprises also recorded a positive situation. Only small-scale enterprises encounter a labor crunch. However, this situation will probably be overcome soon when provinces have been supporting vaccination for people wishing to return to HCMC to work. HCMC leaders have also actively worked with businesses to arrange vehicles to assist workers from other provinces to return to the city.

More solutions needed to support businesses

To support enterprises to accelerate production, the HUBA has proposed to the Government to implement two urgent solutions. The first is to issue a financial support package for businesses only, whose administrative procedures are simplified to make it easier for businesses to access. For those that have completed the application to access capital support earlier, the authority should speed up the approval process. Moreover, it is necessary to extend tax payments and reduce taxes so that enterprises can increase working capital in importing raw materials and production. From the perspective of the city, Mr. Chu Tien Dung also suggested reducing the costs of electricity and water for businesses, especially temporarily not increasing the fee for seaport infrastructure.

Sharing the same problem, according to Mr. Nguyen Hoang Ngan, General Director of Binh Minh Plastic Joint Stock Company, the fourth quarter of 2021 is the time when enterprises accelerate exports and increase the import of raw materials. The current biggest difficulty is that raw material prices are climbing rapidly. For example, raw plastic material prices have doubled or tripled those at the beginning of the year. Such an increase eats up most of the profits of enterprises. Not to mention that businesses also have to bear the costs incurred from the control of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, the promptness and timeliness of the support policy packages will help them overcome difficulties and accelerate faster.

Along with the economic solution, it is also necessary to build more Covid-19 treatment facilities in areas with many manufacturing plants. The Linh Trung 2 Export Processing Zone is about to inaugurate a 1,500-square-meter Covid-19 treatment facility with 250 beds, with the cooperation of Thu Duc City Hospital. It is a model that actively supports businesses when there are Covid-19 cases, so it is necessary to replicate this model in the near future.

Over the past time, any enterprise that has a decent dormitory or accommodation for workers was very proactive in pandemic prevention and implemented the three-on-site production model. Therefore, the city needs to supplement regulations on the construction of worker accommodation when developing or renovating new EPZs and IPs.

Enterprises also said that the Government should drastically direct relevant ministries, sectors, and localities to soon unify the method of controlling inter-provincial trade by a general national management system. Accordingly, 400 EPZs, IPs, and economic zones across the country need to be quickly connected to trade activities to meet the demand for supply of goods, raw materials, and imported and exported goods through provinces to the ports. Only in this way will it create a general driving force to promote the economic recovery of HCMC and regain strong growth momentum in the last months of 2021.

According to Ms. Le Bich Loan, Deputy Head of the Management Board of Saigon Hi-Tech Park, the labor force is not a big concern of FDI enterprises. Over the past time, although the number of workers participating in production was limited to ensure the three-on-site regulations, these enterprises arranged for their workers to work alternately in shifts. Thanks to that, workers can maintain jobs and stable incomes, so they do not leave for their hometowns. Only a small number of workers, who went out of the city due to personal affairs, are still stuck in other provinces. Local authorities and HCMC are supporting them to return to work. Currently, 100 percent of enterprises in the park have resumed production with a scale of 50-75 percent. Businesses will also plan to recover the rest from now until mid-November this year.

By Ai Van – Translated by Thuy Doan

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