News Bulletin 74 - Week 1, August 2021

Covid-19 Delta variant continues to be a big concern in Vietnam, particularly in Saigon its biggest city and commercial hub. Most of southern Vietnam is under strict lockdown with 6 PM – 6 AM curfew now imposed, while Directive 16 social distancing measures were also imposed in Hanoi. There were some positive news last week as vaccination efforts were picking up as the local government race to meet 70% first shot vaccination rate by September.

Unsurprisingly, many people are calling for increased and quick vaccination as the only way to control Covid-19 Delta variant.  The fastest way for the economy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic is for people to get vaccinated, RMIT’s School of Business and Management lecturers and researchers Dr Greeni Maheshwari and Dr Daniel Borer have said.

"Vaccination is key to return to full economic activities,” Borer said. "Vietnam would be at a disadvantage if supply chains are disrupted and the country remains closed to foreign businesses as a measure to prevent the virus spread, while other countries in the region open up thanks to successful vaccination.”

The past week highlight:

Vietnam’s trade ministry requests COVID-19 vaccine priority for transport, logistics workers

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked authorities in provinces and cities to give COVID-19 vaccination priority to workers in the transport and logistics industries for securing smooth circulation of goods.

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Let’s look at some other related financial and business news during the past week

1. Vietnam fatality rate rises as delta COVID ravages Ho Chi Minh City

Although vaccination drives in Southeast Asia are making progress, the region is suffering from a rising fatality rate as the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread. In Vietnam, a vaccination laggard in the region, the upcoming few weeks will be crucial for controlling the situation, the World Health Organization's main representative in the country has warned.

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2. Vaccination 'key' to rapid economic recover

The fastest way for the economy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic is for people to get vaccinated, RMIT’s School of Business and Management lecturers and researchers Dr Greeni Maheshwari and Dr Daniel Borer have said.

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3. US Vice-President Kamala Harris to visit Singapore and Vietnam

United States Vice-President Kamala Harris will travel to Singapore and Vietnam next month to "strengthen relationships and expand economic cooperation with two critical Indo-Pacific partners of the United States", her spokesman announced on Friday (July 30)

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4. 2021 Vietnam Annual Economic Report launched

The 2021 Vietnam Annual Economic Report entitled “Repositioning Vietnam in Global Dynamics” was unveiled on Thursday by the Vietnam National University - University of Economics and Business.

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5. July CPI up by 0.62% month-on-month

The national consumer price index (CPI) in July grew by 0.62 percent against June and 2.64 percent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

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6. Ho Chi Minh City banks practice ‘stay-at-work 'mechanism to maintain normal operations

Many lenders in Ho Chi Minh City have applied the ‘three-on-the-spot’ mechanism, one of two models required for production companies in virus-hit areas, to deal with difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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7. Vietnam's express delivery market reached $700.4 million in 2020

Vietnam's express delivery services market is booming with a valuation of $700.4 million in 2020 and is projected to reach $1655.96 million by 2028, according to the latest report by Research and Markets.

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8. Vietnam ranks third in logistics performance index in ASEAN

Vietnam ranks 39th among 160 countries and territories, and third in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in logistics performance index (LPI), heard a workshop held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on July 30.

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9. Northern Vietnam’s previous COVID-19 hotbed in hunger for factory workers

More than 340 companies in Bac Giang are seeking as many as 45,000 workers to fill up vacancies upon their operation resumption as the northern Vietnamese province has put the COVID-19 outbreak under control.

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10. PM approves reduction in power bills for people impacted by Directive 16

The Prime Minister has approved the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s proposal to cut power bills for households for two months in provinces and cities applying social distancing, the ministry announced on Saturday.

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