Businesspeople say the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on enterprises has been ‘beyond imagination’.
Since March 16, a director of a big garment company has regularly received notices from European and American partners on stopping deliveries or extending the delivery time.
“We kept the hope that we will get good news. But finally, all our 12 partners have stopped receiving goods,” he said, adding that new information will only come in late April.
The businessman informed thousands of workers last Monday about the bad news.
“Previously, our production plan was set weekly or monthly, but now it is designed by days, or hours,” he said. “Workers go to the factory in the morning, and they may be told to go home in the afternoon."
This is a common situation at many enterprises these days, since Europe and the US are now the second and third largest coronavirus hotspots.
“The garment industry in general and our company in particular are in a very difficult period,” he said.
|Businesspeople say the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on enterprises has been ‘beyond imagination’.|
“If enterprises go bankrupt, more than 2 million workers in the textile and garment industry will lose jobs,” he said.
“Things have changed too rapidly. The demand for wooden furniture products has plummeted,” said Vu Hai Bang, president of Woodland, which specializes in exporting woodwork products to the US, EU and Japan.
All the partners of Woodland have reconsidered orders that were signed before. Ikea, one of the largest clients of Woodland, has announced that it will stop importing products for at least the next two months.
Plastics enterprises are also meeting the same problem. Ho Duc Lam, chair of the Vietnam Plastics Association, said member companies have said that their European and American partners have cancelled orders for shopping bags and garbage bags or postponed delivery because of a sharp fall in demand.
“Many enterprises report that their revenue has dropped by half. Nearly all enterprises have laid off 50-60 percent of workers,” he said.
Pham Van Viet, chair of VitaJean, also said the company’s partners from the EU and US stopped receiving goods after the orders on travel restriction and the ban on public gathering were imposed.
The EU importers said there would be a one-month suspension, while the US partners announced a 3-week suspension, but Viet thinks the suspension may last two months because of the epidemic escalation.
Fifty percent of VitaJean’s products are exported to the US and EU.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Chi Trung, president of Gia Dinh Group, a footwear manufacturer, said that partners in the EU and US stopped receiving goods several days after the EU and US announced the border closure.
VietinBank and Agribank will provide credit packages worth 60 trillion VND ($2.5 million) and 100 trillion VND respectively to support customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic forces many businesses to halt operation, there are opportunities for business development, particular in supplying equipment needed to work from home.