Representatives of active U.S. businesses in Vietnam called on the local government to provide them with assistance in administrative procedures, COVID-19 vaccine access, and taxes during a meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh this weekend.
Prime Minister Chinh hosted a reception on Saturday for Christopher Klein, Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, and a number of U.S. business representatives and investors running global supply chains in Vietnam.
During the meeting in the Vietnamese capital, the company representatives spoke highly of Vietnam’s approach in quelling the COVID-19 epidemic and ensuring uninterrupted production.
However, they also pointed out various hurdles that their firms are facing while maintaining the global supply chain from Vietnam, including transport, production, administrative procedures, tax and expenses, access to COVID-19 vaccines, as well as entrance and travel permits for foreign experts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.
The businesses recognized local authorities’ effort in listening to their suggestions and providing assistance in untangling the issues.
Nevertheless, they expected protocols at local-level governments to be more effective, thorough, and timely in the future.
The Vietnamese premier reaffirmed Vietnam's desire to continue developing the Vietnam-U.S. comprehensive partnership.
He expressed sincere thanks to the U.S. government and people for their donations of COVID-19 vaccines and medical equipment to Vietnam, part of which was announced during the official visit of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris to Hanoi in August.
The premier acknowledged the issues that foreign firms are facing and ensured that Vietnam is rolling out many measures to push pack the epidemic.
The Vietnamese government has put together a special working group to support the prime minister in removing difficulties facing businesses and people due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Chinh also promised that a resolution to aid businesses during the pandemic is coming next week.
Grassroots-level authorities and relevant officials must pay attention to businesses’ requests, ensuring continued production activities and guaranteeing livelihoods for workers, he insisted,
Addressing the foreign businesses’ inquiries on COVID-19 jabs, the premier reassured that Vietnam will arrange resources from its ongoing inoculation drive to vaccinate experts and workers of foreign-invested enterprises.
Pointing to a global-scale scarcity of vaccines, Chinh suggested that U.S. firms communicate with the U.S. government and other partners to send more support for Vietnam’s combat against COVID-19.
The Vietnamese government will continue to exert efforts to handle the proposals made by U.S. businesses, he said, emphasizing that what has been done must be done better.
The premier called on the U.S. Chargé d'Affaires and businesses to keep up their cooperation with Vietnamese officials in epidemic control, maintaining production activities, ensuring workers’ welfare, and facilitating Vietnamese businesses' investment in the U.S..
Klein and the U.S. businesses showed their desire to continue fostering investment and business activities in Vietnam, as well as their trust in the country’s early recovery from the health crisis.
They also expressed their confidence that the comprehensive partnership between the two countries will grow and flourish in a more substantive and effective manner across a variety of fields, in which economic and trade ties will remain an important pillar.