Vietnamese businesses recover from COVID-19 pandemic

27-Jan-2021 Intellasia | VOV5 | 7:22 AM Print This Post

2020 was a difficult year for all businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was a year in which Vietnamese enterprises exerted greater efforts for international integration and development.

Vietnamese tourism was the hardest hit economic sector. According to the Vietnam Tourism Association, the sector lost $23 billion in revenue after receiving only about 3 million foreign visitors, down 80%, and only 50 million domestic tourists, down 50%. About 90 percent of the sector’s employees were let go or temporarily laid off.

About 60 percent of tour operators and travel companies ceased operations. Many hotels closed. Room occupancy rates of accommodation establishments in big cities and tourist areas fell to 10 or 15%.

Vietnamese tourism companies have turned to the domestic market.

Le Anh Dai, deputy Chair of the Lao Cai provincial Tourism Association, says “Domestic tourists are teaching us to adapt and be creative in designing new products. The industry’s slow down during the pandemic has been a useful incentive to take stock and become more united in order to meet the crisis together.”

Meanwhile, Nguyen Kim Oanh, director of the Binh Anh Hotel, notes with her business’s turnover falling 70 to 80 percent last year, it was time to carry out a new strategy to attract domestic visitors.

“Our strategy has been to invite domestic tourists to come and experience our services for free,” says Oanh. “They will then spread the word to other customers. We have had some success in attracting local tourists so far.”

Vietnamese exporters have also faced difficulties. Garment makers suffered the greatest losses, with total export turnover falling down 15 to 20 percent last year.

According to Than Duc Viet, director general of the Garment 10 Corporation (Garco 10), his company has changed its production processes and product structure and focused more on the domestic market.

“Last year we opened five new shops in the Garco 10 chain. We didn’t see much growth, but didn’t suffer any decline from the epidemic. Our gross domestic sales didn’t decline,” says Viet, adding this year the firm is targeting growth of 20 percent to 30%.

Nguyen Thi Bao Hien, Chairwoman and director general of the Hien Le Group, which specialises in farm produce, says this year her group plans to build a new factory and expand production and exports.

“In 2021 we are considering the construction of a plant with a capacity 7 times that of the current one. Hopefully by the end of next year we will have a new plant and new products.”

Vu Tien Loc, Chair of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, maintains 2020 was a turbulent year but also a year when the business community became more focused on resilience and sustainable development.

“What the business community wants most now is for the government to work with other nations to control the epidemic. This is very important to help businesses choose a direction for 2021 and beyond. For enterprises to grow sustainably, they need an appropriate ecosystem and stable, transparent policies,” confides Loc.

To stand firm in 2021 and in the future, businesses need to redefine themselves and improve their products. Digital transformation and creativity in business, along with increasing investment in technology and creating new supply chains, will be the key to development.


Category: Business, Vietnam

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