EuroCham Speaks at the “Coming together for sustainable recovery of Vietnam garment and footwear industries”

On Friday, the 8th of October 2021, EuroCham board member Ms. Claudia Anselmi was honored to join a 4-party dialogue co-organized by VITAS regarding Coming together for sustainable recovery of Vietnam garment and footwear industries
Representatives from Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, together with domestic and international business associations have exchanged their current issues and shared their evaluation and report regarding the Covid-19 impacts on enterprises and workers in the textile and footwear industry in Viet Nam. EuroCham has raised difficulties and challenges of European Business Community and proposed several measures to recover production of the textile and footwear industries including planning for sustainable development and gradual recovery of workforce and financial investment flow. Ms. Claudia urged for a more solid collaboration and regular dialogues between enterprises and Public Authorities, between suppliers and buyers, between manufacturers and export/import partners to share the common burden and resolve the adverse impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
According to recent report conducted by the Director of Research Center for Employment Relations, Dr. Do Chi, many workers have suffered during the lockdown; specifically, 62% of workers have not had access to any financial resources, 30 % of workers have face tremendous difficulties during the lockdown, especially those who lived in red areas have suffered the food scarcity and moral disorder. Despite the 90% and 69 % coverage rate of vaccine for workers in Ho Chi Minh city and in the factories in the north, respectively, we are still facing many challenges to deploy the workers post pandemic since many workers have been forced to come back to their hometown to take care of their family lives. For that reason, The Research Center for Employment Relations urges for necessary and wider support from enterprises and public administrations to workers who live in fragile conditions and predicts that it will take at least 3-5 months before the workforce flow comes back to normality. From the enterprises side, manufacturers in textile industry also suffered from additional financial cost due to the implementation of Covid-19 testing and 3-at-site policy and the inefficiency of manufacturing activities which still stay at 30-40 % of normal capacity.
In response to business associations’ concerns, the representatives from MOIT and MOLISA reaffirmed their guarantee to immediately implement necessary policies for an effective economic recovery plan. Specifically, MOIT is actively working with the Government to propose guidance and recovery plans regarding the transportation of workers and the export/import activities with green pass and application of modern information technology and implementation of digitalization in administration procedures. MOIT acknowledges the importance of the textile and footwear industries to the Vietnam economy and emphasizes that Vietnam is the second largest footwear exporter in the World and the 5th largest textile and garment exporter. According to the MOIT, the Government is revising new regulations regarding common criteria for facilitating movement of workers across different areas.
Meanwhile, MOLISA acknowledges that many enterprises and workers have still not touched the financial aids and support from the Government and  shared that in the coming week, the Minister of MOLISA will present the report to the Government and to the Steering Committee of the National Assembly regarding the proposal to expand financial support for workers and facilitate application of extra working time by raising the ceiling of 40h extra time per month in order to substitute the shortage of manufacturing products. MOLISA also informs that the Ministry of Legal Affairs is assessing the General Recovery Planning Project for Labor Market.
Representative from OECD development center also acknowledges their concerns regarding health safety of workers in factories and encourage local authorities and enterprises, suppliers in Vietnam to consult and implement their guidelines which is being applied in 49 countries; and urges for a more effective sustainable recovery in conformity with EV FTA to guarantee the smooth operation of supply chain and export/import industries.”

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