How Bac Giang authorities persuade foreign firms to halt their operations

Bac Giang province has been gathering strength to fight the Covid-19 outbreak for one month, vowing to stamp out the outbreak by the end of June.

How Bac Giang authorities persuade foreign firms to halt their operations

Le Anh Duong, Chair of Bac Giang provincial People’s Committee

Commenting about the outbreak, Le Anh Duong, Chairman of Bac Giang provincial People’s Committee said that local people had never faced such an incident.

“Covid-19 has caused industrial production stagnation and affected the entire socio-economic life. It has coincided with the farm produce harvesting season and general elections. It has caused foreign investment momentum to slow down,” Duong said.

“This is an unprecedented big challenge. Local people for the first time feel a threat to their safety and health,” he said.

How can Bac Giang persuade the ‘eagles’ (‘eagle’ referred to big foreign investors and manufacturers) such as Apple, Samsung and Foxconn to halt their production?

When the pandemic began attacking industrial zones, what worried us the most was that it would affect production and investment, and Bac Giang’s position in the global supply chain as well.

Fighting the pandemic has been a top priority in our strategy. We decided to close the industrial zones (IZs), but not to just stamp out the outbreak.

Before closing the IZs, we had a meeting with all enterprises. Investors who were overseas at that moment also attended the online meeting.

Some said it was necessary to close IZs immediately, while others disagreed, fearing they would lose orders and clients, or would be fined for slow delivery and lose competitiveness.

I told them that it was necessary to suspend production to gather strength to fight the pandemic, to deal with the urgent problem first. During the closure time, we will join forces to design new production models. I said it would be impossible to maintain stable production amid the threatening outbreak. Investors all agreed with the solution.

No enterprise had a negative response on the night the official decision was released (May 18, 2021). Investors told international press agencies that they agreed with the solution put forward by the local government.

Foxconn, for example, issued a press release, affirming its support for the Bac Giang authorities’ solution and said that production capacity would not be affected by the temporary production suspension.

Bac Giang has been implementing its commitments that it made to investors It established a taskforce that joined forces with them to examine and check production scale, and Covid prevention capability of each enterprise in accordance with certain classification criteria.

The classification allows them to adjust the production model and restore production. Soon after the decision on resuming production in accordance with Plan 213, the provincial authorities set up a unit that defined the requirements for people going to work, and picking up workers going to work.

We give support to what businesses need. All enterprises answered our call and were unanimous in implementing the solution. This is unprecedented, if noting that the foreign investors in Bac Giang provinces have different nationalities, and different cultures and personalities.

Brainstorming moment

You signed two decisions related to production activities just within one week. The first was the one on closing six enterprises in Van Trung IZs, and the second was the closure of four IZs. Bac Giang has lost VND2 trillion for each day of closure. Did you have to think carefully before making such decisions?

 
Bac Giang province has been gathering strength to fight the Covid-19 outbreak for one month, vowing to stamp out the outbreak by the end of June.

All of these were extremely important decisions. I and the leadership had to discuss very thoroughly before making decisions. We even had to ask for the Prime Minister’s opinion and the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

At first, the new hotspot only involved six small companies leasing workshops in Van Trung IZ. So, it was obviously necessary to close the enterprises, and there was no difficulty with the decision.

However, we had to carry out a large-scale testing campaign and screen all workers in the IZ. Our testing capability could not meet the high number of 90,000 workers in the IZ.

It was much more difficult to make the second decision - closing four IZs at the same time. At that time, the outbreak, after occurring in Van Trung and Quang Chau IZs, began spreading to nearby IZs. Meanwhile, infections were not found in Dinh Tram and Song Khe – Noi Hoang.

Before releasing the decision, we had to think about many things, including the benefits of investors and enterprises, the benefits of workers, and the benefits of the entire province. There were many things to weigh, but I put the safety of workers as a top priority and persuaded enterprises with that principle.

A Foxconn vendor in Hong Kong via Zoom said that businesses' priorities were fighting against the pandemic and stabilizing the economic situation, while putting businesses’ benefits at a lower level of priority.

However, we anticipated that a lot of problems could arise after the decision was released. If 67,000 migrant workers had left Bac Giang province for their home villages after factories suspended operation, they could have brought the virus everywhere.

Therefore, just one day later, the provincial authorities called on workers to stay in Bac Giang. The province also sent a document to enterprises telling them to keep their workers there and cooperate with local authorities to have medical tests. The province promised to ensure their normal lives.

On the afternoon of the same day, we had a meeting with enterprises and reported to the Prime Minister at night. At 0 am, we declared isolation for the entire Viet Yen District and 4 IZs.

This was the most difficult decision.

Keeping promises

So, the released Plan 213 on the resumption of the production activities after 10 days of closing four industrial zones can be seen as Bac Giang’s promise to investors?

Yes. When deciding to close four IZs, we did not say exactly when the IZs would become operational again. When investors asked about this, I said we aimed to reopen them after two weeks. And we kept the promise. After two weeks, the enterprises began operating again in accordance with a roadmap. 

Kien Trung

To be continued...

Bac Giang migrant workers to be relocated as part of Covid-19 fight

Bac Giang migrant workers to be relocated as part of Covid-19 fight

The northern province of Bac Giang, Vietnam’s ongoing Covid-19 epicentre, plans for workers from other localities to return to their hometowns to help mitigate Covid-19 infections.

Zero-dong supermarkets ease hardship for workers in Bac Giang

Zero-dong supermarkets ease hardship for workers in Bac Giang

Holding a bag of rice from a zero-dong supermarket brought home by his landlord, Luong Van Han could not hide his joy.

 
 

Other News

.
Vietnamese can create Metaverse virtual universes
Vietnamese can create Metaverse virtual universes
FEATUREicon  19/09/2021 

Anyone can have another life inside a virtual world: what seemed like sci-fi movies only is coming very close.

Mobile Money paves way to apply 'sandbox' for new services
Mobile Money paves way to apply 'sandbox' for new services
FEATUREicon  19/09/2021 

The trial Mobile Money service allowed by the Prime Minister will set a precedent for applying a "sandbox" scheme for new services and professions in digital society.

Businesses propose new regulations to replace Directives 15, 16
Businesses propose new regulations to replace Directives 15, 16
FEATUREicon  18/09/2021 

Associations of businesses have asked the Prime Minister to issue new directives on pandemic prevention and control to replace Directives 15 and 16 with regulations that fit the new circumstances.

Businesses struggle with increased costs, impact from Covid-19
Businesses struggle with increased costs, impact from Covid-19
FEATUREicon  19/09/2021 

According to the Vietnam Association of Beer, Wine and Beverage (VBA), more than 85 percent of drink manufacturers have had difficulties in product distribution.

Companies reporting profits actually incurred losses, audits show
Companies reporting profits actually incurred losses, audits show
FEATUREicon  19/09/2021 

A difference in profits of listed companies before and after auditing has left investors worried about the accuracy of finance reports.

Extending lockdown, HCMC adjusts social, business activities
Extending lockdown, HCMC adjusts social, business activities
FEATUREicon  17/09/2021 

HCM City authorities are planning to grant green cards associated with personal QR Codes in certain districts; amend regulations on goods delivery and receipt; and allow more business fields to operate, commencing from September 16.

Airfare scheme may deprive 43 million passengers of opportunity to fly at low cost
Airfare scheme may deprive 43 million passengers of opportunity to fly at low cost
FEATUREicon  17/09/2021 

If a proposed airfare scheme is applied, the fees will make it impossible for low-income earners to travel by air.

Vietnam builds ‘fortress’ to fight pandemic, not the economy
Vietnam builds ‘fortress’ to fight pandemic, not the economy
FEATUREicon  18/09/2021 

The economy reflects the operation of all 13 southern cities and provinces, and different behaviors of each is hindering economic development.

Hanoi, HCM City to loosen social distancing, prepare for reopening
Hanoi, HCM City to loosen social distancing, prepare for reopening
FEATUREicon  15/09/2021 

Hanoi leaders have mentioned the possibility of loosening social distancing from September 15 if the spread of the coronavirus can be curbed. HCM City is also considering loosening social distancing regulations two weeks after September 15.

Local specialties plummeting in price
Local specialties plummeting in price
FEATUREicon  16/09/2021 

While Phu Yen lobster prices are surging, VND100,000 per kilogram more expensive than the previous crop, other aquatic specialties including ca lang (hemibagrus) and hau sua (oyster milk) have seen prices plummet, causing big losses for farmers.

Hope rests on economic recovery plan
Hope rests on economic recovery plan
FEATUREicon  16/09/2021 

Hopes for the ease of social distancing measures and recovery of the economy are rising along with the decrease in the nber of new cases.

Hanoi after nearly two months of social distancing
Hanoi after nearly two months of social distancing
FEATUREicon  15/09/2021 

The number of Covid-19 cases is gradually decreasing, medical capacity has improved, the "green zone" has expanded, and the "red zone" has gradually narrowed. 

When the two 'locomotives' restart at the same time
When the two 'locomotives' restart at the same time
FEATUREicon  14/09/2021 

Contributing about 45% of the country’s GDP, HCM City and Hanoi are considered the two engines pulling the national economy. Both must be healthy and go hand in hand to revive the pandemic-hit economy.

How long will social distancing last?
How long will social distancing last?
FEATUREicon  16/09/2021 

Receipts from taxes are on the decrease, which show that goods consumption and production of enterprises have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis.

HCM City begins two trial ‘buffer’ weeks before reopenng
HCM City begins two trial ‘buffer’ weeks before reopenng
FEATUREicon  15/09/2021 

A trial reopening in HCM City will be implemented on September 16-30 in districts 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio before following steps are taken.

HCM City extends social distancing, issuance of green cards on hold
HCM City extends social distancing, issuance of green cards on hold
FEATUREicon  13/09/2021 

HCM City authorities have been considering a plan to grant ‘green’ and ‘yellow’ cards to its citizens, but the city has decided to extend social distancing after September 15.

HCM City speeds up vaccinations in aim to loosen restrictions
HCM City speeds up vaccinations in aim to loosen restrictions
FEATUREicon  14/09/2021 

After nearly three months of social distancing, the conditions to loosen anti-pandemic measures to some extent are being discussed so that localities, businesses and people can feel more comfortable.

Agricultural by-products: a billion-dollar 'gold mine' in Vietnam
Agricultural by-products: a billion-dollar 'gold mine' in Vietnam
FEATUREicon  13/09/2021 

Agricultural by-products are called the "gold mine" of the Vietnam agricultural industry with up to 156 million tons per year. But these lucrative sources have been neglected for many years.

Celebrities and charity: scandals and legal 'gaps'
Celebrities and charity: scandals and legal 'gaps'
FEATUREicon  12/09/2021 

The news about celebrities doing charity has heated up in recent days with doubts and questions about the transparency of donations.

7 solutions proposed to fight pandemic in HCM City after September 15
7 solutions proposed to fight pandemic in HCM City after September 15
FEATUREicon  11/09/2021 

The HCM City Healthcare Department has proposed seven anti-pandemic solutions after September 15, 2021, including social distancing associated with a Covid-19 green card.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN