Vietnam’s efforts towards recovery and economic development after the COVID-19

Update: 07:49 | 11/06/2020
TGVN. Diplomacy has played a very vital role in prevent and combat COVID-19. At the same time, it helped to create a peaceful, safe and stable environment to restore national economic development.
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vietnams efforts towards recovery and economic development after the covid 19 Vietnam ranks among safest countries for COVID-19 protection
vietnams efforts towards recovery and economic development after the covid 19
Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung (R) presented medical supplies to the Government and the people of Japan.

The COVID-19 pandemic first appeared in Wuhan, Hubei - China, and has spread worldwide, causing unprecedented suffering in human history, affecting human life, and ushering in severe economic recession worldwide. While vaccines have not been found yet, measures to prevent epidemics, economic recovery and social stability have been implemented by governments.

Diplomacy has played a very vital role in sharing information, developing community awareness to effectively prevent and combat COVID-19. At the same time, it helped to create a peaceful, safe and stable environment to restore national economic development. Vietnamese diplomacy is also quickly adapting to new challenges and making an important contribution to the success of prevention and combat COVID-19 in Vietnam.

Vietnam has adopted structured plans to control, prevent and eliminate the adverse effects of COVID-19, thereby ensuring the safety of human lives and maintaining social stability in the country. Due to the relatively long border with China, Vietnam has heavily suffered because of this pandemic. However, the government of Vietnam has proactively taken timely measures to detect the source of the disease, zoning off isolation and gradually controlling and repelling this disease with the motto of ensuring the safety of peoples’ lives.

The Vietnamese government has been proactive and flexible in capturing the data and through active intervention contained the epidemic from spreading. Vietnam’s success has contributed to convincing people to be collaborative with the government in implementing the most effective measures to prevent and fight diseases and protect life.

vietnams efforts towards recovery and economic development after the covid 19 Vietnam ranks among safest countries for COVID-19 protection

Accordingly, Vietnam has outlined solutions, and implemented standard operating procedures to persuade the people to work together and unanimously agree with the direction of the Party and the Government as “anti-epidemic as anti-enemy”. That means “to stop the risk of disease transmission from the outside, resolutely insulate, focus on zoning the epidemic from the inside out and treat effectively” and “to sacrifice immediate economic benefits to protect lives of the people”.

In order to revive the domestic economy and social security, the Government has offered 3 types of solutions with 33 specific tasks to remove difficulties in production, restart businesses affected by COVID- 19 and a number of steps to promote the disbursement of social investment capital, especially public capital.

Many policies to support people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic were implemented such as “monetary support packages of about Vietnamese Dong (VND) 300,000 billion(USD 12.5 billion), fiscal support packages of about VND 180,000 billion(USD 7.7 billion), social - welfare packages of over VND 62,000 billion, electricity price support package of VND 12,000 billion, telecommunication support package of VND 15,000 billion and about VND 20,000 billion of exemption and reduction of taxes, fees and charges for businesses and people, ... ”. At the same time, the government gave five stimulus measures to revive the economy, to attract investment from domestic economic sectors, promoting exports and public investment, encouraging domestic consumption and attracting FDI”.

The fight against the COVID 19 epidemic and economic recovery in Vietnam requires the participation of the entire political system and people in the country and even overseas Vietnamese. Therefore, the co-operation, and close coordination of the diplomatic community and the government in the implementation of plans and programs with the spirit of “turning risks into opportunities” is extremely important. Up till now, Vietnamese diplomacy has been adhering to its role, becoming a bridge between the Party, the State, the Government and the citizens and diaspora overseas.

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With strong political determination and social consensus, as of June 11, Vietnam has had no new cases within 56 days and the disease was controlled with the number of infected cases 332, of which 320 cases were cured (accounted for 96.4% of the total number of patients) and no deaths were reported. This is considered a great success demonstrating the unity from the will to the actions of the Vietnam political system, the consensus between the Party, State, Government and the people as well as the power of great unity, patriotic tradition, and kindness of the Vietnamese people.

Vietnam supports and promotes international cooperation to fight the epidemic by sharing information, experiences, and creating a stable environment for investment. Despite many difficulties, Vietnam has had many activities to support and cooperate with about 20 countries and international organizations to repel pandemic NCOV.

Following the motto of “Helping others to help yourself”, Vietnam has donated the medical equipment to Laos and Cambodia including protective gear, medical masks, antibacterial masks, testing systems with SARS-CoV-2 virus test kit; total value of more than VND 7 billion for each country.

At the same time, Vietnam has also donated 500 testing tools to Indonesia, USD 50.000 to Myanmar to jointly prevent and combat COVID-19, 5000 tons of rice to Cuba. In particular, Vietnam offered China medical supplies and equipments including ventilators, protective clothing, gloves, and medical masks with a total value of about USD 500,000 as soon as COVID-19 occurred in China.

Vietnam has also devoted part of its resources to helping the governments of strategic partners and traditional friends such as Japan, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, etc. to prevent and control of COVID-19. Vietnam’s aid comprised of medical goods include masks, antibacterial clothing against infections, DuPont protective clothing made by Vietnam helping to protect people.

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In terms of international connectivity and cooperation, Vietnam has conducted unofficial telephone calls with the United States, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand to focus on updating the situation of COVID-19 in each of the dialogue partner countries, and across the world. Since then, governments have shared experiences and disease prevention measures as well as effective forms of cooperation to protect citizens, provided medical equipment, coordinate humanitarian aid and facilitate the cooperation to revive the economy in the post-COVID-19 phase.

As ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam has carried out many active diplomatic activities such as The Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan sent a letter to the member parliaments of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Council (AIPA) calling for joint action against the COVID-19 pandemic; Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued the ASEAN Chairperson Statement affirming ASEAN's determination and high political commitment to control and prevent epidemics. He chaired the ASEAN Coordinating Council to discuss cooperation measures in ASEAN as well as ASEAN and partners to respond to epidemics, ASEAN-US Foreign Ministerial Online Conference to discuss international cooperation to prevent and control COVID-19; initiate the emergency response mechanism of the ASEAN region and with partners China, Japan, and Korea (ASEAN+3); participated in G20 Summit, Online Summit for non-affiliated movement on disease prevention.

Thus, under difficult conditions, Vietnam has to deal with both the COVID-19 epidemic and economic stability, but Vietnam has achieved great success and controlled the epidemic. Besides, in its capacity, Vietnam has supported countries to prevent and fight against epidemics and received the high appreciation of many countries in the world and regional and international organizations, of which, notably 77 Foreign Non-Governmental Organization and Foreign Non-Governmental Data Center, the Friendship Union sent a letter of mutual gratitude, support for the Vietnam Government's effective anti-COVID-19 measures”.

Vietnam’s diplomacy has contributed to economic recovery and development after the COVID pandemic. Since the discovery of the first case of COVID-19 in early January 2020, to April 22, Vietnam was one of the first countries to relax social isolation measures and gradually reopen the country.

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The Politico magazine of the US ranked Vietnam at the top of the global ranking of the anti-COVID-19 pandemic for the 30 leading countries in terms of economic efficiency and public health. In the current context, the slogan "anti-epidemic as anti-enemy" has been changed to "peaceful coexistence with pandemic".

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many losses to Vietnam's economy: GDP in the first quarter of 2020 was only 3.82%; largely because of less number of international visitors arrivals, total retail sales of goods and revenue from consumer services; COVID-19 caused contraction of the consumer market for 85 percent businesses; nearly 60 percent lack capital and cut business cash flow, while 43 percent have to retrench the labor to lack of jobs”.

In this context, Vietnam’s foreign ministry is determined to implement the “dual goal” to both drastically prevent an epidemic, and maintain and develop economic and social activities, to ensure people's lives.

Therefore, Vietnam actively propagates, encourages, analyzes and convinces people in the country and internationally to grasp effective epidemic prevention and control measures, combining epidemic prevention and socio-economic development, improving the resilience and adaptation of the economy.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam always informs domestic and international reporters about Vietnam's measures to attract foreign investment in the context of the complicated development of the COVID-19 epidemic around the world, affirming: “Although the outbreak of COVID-19 has been complicated in many countries in the world and in the region, but with the drastic implementation of effective measures to prevent and control epidemics, Vietnam has basically been up to now control and repel disease. This is a very important basis to strengthen the confidence of the business community, domestic and foreign investors in Vietnam”.

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Vietnam’s approach is to contain risks, overcome difficulties and challenges, create new development opportunities for the country; and take advantage of early control of the epidemic, elevate Vietnam's prestige and international position.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam in close cooperation with the Government has been synchronously deploying many policies and measures to recover the economy during and after the COVID-19 such as ensuring the maintenance of the supply domestic and international goods and services, continuing to improve the business investment environment, reducing procedures and costs for businesses, developing infrastructure, logistics; actively deploying free trade agreements (FTAs) with partners; supporting businesses and investors to overcome difficulties caused by COVID-19 epidemic".

Thanks to that, Vietnam still attracts foreign investors to invest in Vietnam in the post-COVID-19 times, focusing on 4 areas: information technology and high technology, electronics, e-commerce and logistics, consumer goods and retails.

Generally, the COVID- 19 pandemic has a great impact on the whole world, in which Vietnam also suffered many difficulties and challenges. With the mission of maintaining political and social stability, creating a peaceful environment to carry out the renovation and deepening international integration, Vietnam has made an important contribution in controlling COVID -19 disease and the recovery of its economy that was recognized and highly appreciated by the people of the country and the international community. In the phase of extreme difficulties, Vietnam's economic growth remains high, macroeconomic parameters are stable, inflation is controlled, social security is ensured and people's lives are secure.

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Duong Minh Hue

(Source: Centre for Security and Strategy Studies)