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Businesses stay steadfast and flexible like bamboo, despite pandemic

Amid difficulties, many Vietnamese businesses are still staying firm and seeking opportunities to rise up. The Vietnamese spirit has helped them survive and prosper, further developing the economy.

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The year 2020 was an extremely challenging period. But the challenges showed Vietnam’s strength and bravery. Not fearful of hardships nor shrinking from difficulties, the Vietnamese spirit stems from the history of the country.

The whole nation stands side by side, joining forces to cope with difficulties. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam always has an existing "vaccine" – the resilience which allows Vietnamese to advance forward and cope with all obstacles.

The Vietnamese spirit demonstrated in 2020 reminds Trinh Van Quyet, president of FLC Group, of a bamboo tree, an important symbol of Vietnam’s culture and daily life. It is flexible, resilient and able to adapt to harsh conditions.

These were the virtues that helped Vietnam’s businesses overcome the stormy year of 2020.

To Nhat, vice president and CEO of AMACCAO, believes that the Covid-19 crisis brought both challenges and opportunities.

After Covid-19 broke out in Vietnam in March 2020, the country had to impose social distancing. As a result, AMACCAO could not implement its education projects. As for water supply and liquor production, the group failed to obtain a 50 percent growth rate.

However, when Covid-19 led to the interruption of production activities in South Korea and China and affected the global supply chain, opportunities opened up for some Vietnam enterprises.

“Previously, imports from South Korea and China competed with our products. As the supply chain was disrupted because of Covid-19, enterprises had to look for domestic suppliers, which was the opportunity for Vietnam’s enterprises to expand their market share,” he explained.

To overcome difficulties, FLC carried out drastic restructuring, going against the wind to find opportunities in danger. It reorganized the system and consolidated the staff and spirit, ready to bounce back after the pandemic.

 

Amid difficulties, many Vietnamese businesses are still staying firm and seeking opportunities to rise up. The Vietnamese spirit has helped them survive and prosper, further developing the economy.

 

After the end of outbreaks, FLC immediately recovered its business activities, speeding up the execution of projects. It completed and inaugurated the largest hotel in Vietnam and joined forces with the tourism sector to implement demand stimulus programs in many cities and provinces. This partially helped minimize the Covid-19 impact on tourism, the key industry in many localities.

Reform is key

Quyet believes that 2021 will be a significant year for Vietnam’s socio-economic development and for every enterprise. The Party and the State will create development strategies and policies to determine the vision for the next decade.

“One of the keywords that the business circle uses the most is ‘restructuring’. The restructuring in human resources is extremely important to refine the corporate apparatus and improve operational efficiency,” Quyet said.

Anticipating upheavals in 2021 as Covid-19 still rages in the world, Nhat hopes that the private sector can have more opportunities to develop. He believes that promoting the private sector is the key to Vietnam’s development.

The most important support from the government doesn’t lie in bailout packages, but in the institutional regime and legal framework. The recent institutional reform has gained encouraging results. However, businesses still complain about the contradictions of decrees and legal documents.

Quyet also hopes that businesses will be ‘given strength’ from the country’s reform, such as improving the management of the state apparatus at different levels, creating a transparent and open business environment, and ensuring the market mechanism in resources allocation, so that both state-owned and private enterprises can develop sustainably.

“I believe this is also the wish of thousands of private enterprises that nurture the hope of contributing to developing the country into a powerful and sustainable country in the new decade,” Quyet said.

Nguyen Minh Cuong from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also said at a recent workshop that Vietnam will still have to continue its process of shifting to the market economy in 2021 as it has not completed the process which has been going on for 30 years.

Vietnam needs to encourage the development of the private sector because only this dynamic sector can help the country overcome difficulties.

A report shows that Vietnam's private economic sector currently has nearly 800,000 enterprises creating 12 million jobs, contributing 43 percent of GDP (the figures are 30 percent for state economic sector and 18 percent for foreign invested economic sector).  

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