The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted, but not derailed Vietnam’s expanding role in global supply chains and growth prospects, American Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi (AmCham Hanoi) executive director Adam Sitkoff said yesterday.
The nation has struggled to maintain manufacturing and exports amid the pandemic, one of the key fronts in the battle to keep international trade running for goods including clothes, computer chips and vehicles.
Vietnam’s commercial hub, Ho Chi Minh City, is to continue to enforce a stay-at-home order at least until Wednesday next week, but allow residents in areas with low reports of virus cases to visit supermarkets once a week.
Ho Chi Minh Mayor Phan Van Mai said that the city would gradually restart more services after that date if efforts to contain the virus show signs of success.
“Even with the supply chain and shutdown problems they have because of COVID right now, Vietnam’s still going to do very well economically and it’s becoming, every day, a more important piece of the global supply chain — especially for things that affect American consumers,” Sitkoff told Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin and Rishaad Salamat.
Although “COVID got in the way” of further supply-chain gains and with the full vaccination rate under 3 percent, Sitkoff said that he still expects Vietnam to attract investment, including from further relocations out of China.
For now, AmCham Hanoi is aiming to ensure that COVID-19 policies are “the least disruptive to business as possible,” as firms look for ways to smooth out deliveries leading into the critical year-end holiday season, Sitkoff said.
Analysts at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) sounded a similar tone, highlighting Vietnam’s longer-term prospects despite the current “deep slump” in domestic demand.
“Beyond the near-term challenges, Vietnam’s medium-term economic prospects remain favorable,” analysts including Dhiraj Nim and Khoon Goh (吳昆) wrote in a report.
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