As another year of Covid-19 has passed, most enterprises are still negatively affected. However, supportive policies have been issued simultaneously and are gradually taking effect on enterprises, bringing expectations of recovery and development in the near future.
There is no precedent
The Resolution promulgating the Government’s action plan for the 2021-2026 term to implement the National Assembly’s Resolution on the five-year socio-economic development plan in 2021-2025 has emphasized the task of continuing to support enterprises, carefully prepare conditions, take advantage of opportunities to restore production – business, promote growth and sustainable development.
In the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges and difficulties. According to the survey conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in the third quarter of 2021 of about 3,000 enterprises, nearly 94% of them said the impact of the pandemic was “completely negative” and “mostly negative”.
This number is up from 87.2% of the 2020 survey. Enterprises of most fields and industries had to cope with difficulties due to the pandemic. 71% of them reported a decrease in expected revenue in 2021 compared to 2020.
Faced with this situation, the Government and National Assembly have issued a series of policies, not only improving the effectiveness of pandemic prevention but also supporting enterprises to overcome the pandemic.
At the end of August 2021, the Prime Minister decided to set up a Special Working Group of the Prime Minister on removing difficulties for enterprises and people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Before that was Decision 23/2021/QD-TTg dated July 7, 2021 on implementing a number of policies to support employees and employers facing difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most notably is Resolution 105/NQ-CP dated September 9, 2021 of the Government on supporting enterprises, cooperatives and business households in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the assessment of enterprises, since their issuance, these policies have had a positive impact on the implementation of safe and flexible adaptation, effective disease control and restoring business activities.
A representative of Phuc Thinh Co., Ltd. said that social distancing in the southern provinces caused enterprises to reduce their revenue by 70%.
Meanwhile, the company had to spend more than VND700 million on salary, social insurance, loan interest, of which, the space rent was up to VND150 million per month.
Therefore, he was very excited about the policy of extending, exempting and reducing corporate income tax and land rent that had been issued, helping enterprises save hundreds of millions of dong and would be a valuable financial resource for them to support workers, maintain the source of goods when production started again.
Also appreciating the supportive policies, economic expert Dr. Vo Tri Thanh said that the risk of the pandemic was unprecedented, so the support policies and packages were also unprecedented in terms of scale, implementation, beneficiaries.
But the good news was that the Government had not stopped supporting the economy and the business community, even considering broader support policies. Many believed that if these support programs were well implemented, economic growth would increase by 1-1.5 percentage points.
The proof is that thanks to supportive policies, the number of newly established and returning businesses in the months of 2021 still recorded an increase.
Many macroeconomic indicators such as foreign direct investment (FDI), credit, import-export, trade, have also continuously increased, especially in the last months of 2021.
Needing “institutional” support package
The fact is that the support policy only partially contributes to the development of enterprises, most of them must still rely on the capacity and internal resources of the enterprise.
Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nafoods Group Joint Stock Company, said that the pandemic caused difficulties, but thanks to the promotion of digitalization, business results were still very positive. However, the pandemic was still complicated with new strains, so policies still have to play a “supportive” role. Leaders of Nafoods Group want support policies to be implemented in the fastest and most minimalist way.
Commenting on this issue, Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, Head of the Legal Department, VCCI said that the Government’s guidelines and support policies issued are highly appreciated, but guiding documents need to be issued for the procedures to be transparent and convenient for the beneficiaries.
He suggested that the policies and regulations introduced should aim to minimize regulations on the requirement to prove that the enterprises and cooperatives were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government should have solutions to check the implementation process, pay attention to improving the enforcement efficiency of ministries, branches and local authorities to strengthen the confidence of the business community and the people.
According to Mr. Pham Dinh Doan, Chairman of Phu Thai Group, in promulgating support policies, the drafting agencies should take the viewpoint of supporting businesses and enterprises as the main factor, not to focus on safety. The regulatory documents should use words that are easy to understand, should not be taken advantage of, distort to create sub-licenses, create barriers and cause difficulties for enterprises.
It can be seen that enterprises and experts are still looking forward to more breakthroughs in administrative procedure reform and institutional reform so that all issued policies can “take effect”, helping to make the most of them and avoiding waste.
Therefore, not long ago, VCCI Chairman Pham Tan Cong suggested that there should be an institutional “reform package” in addition to the support packages. Because a support package was required for recovery, but institutions were needed for sustainable development. This institutional package was also part of a sustainable recovery program, which was the bailout package expected by enterprises.