Despite displaying a high degree of openness, the Vietnamese economy is yet to fully open on the same level as before the arrival of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong.
In his remarks at a regular monthly cabinet meeting held in Hanoi on May 5, Deputy Minister Phuong said regarding the various scenarios on the pathway to economic recovery in line with the directions issued by the government, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) is currently working alongside other relevant ministries and agencies to outline various plans for economic recovery.
He went on to add that when the first COVID-19 outbreaks occurred, the MoIT was pro-active to co-ordinate efforts with other ministries and sectors in a bid to offer advice and solutions to both the government and the Prime Minister.
Specifically, the MPI proposed a three-step plan for operating the economy during the pandemic in addition to a roadmap to open the national economy to the same level as prior to the COVID-19.
The first step includes making it the top priority to contain the epidemic amid increasingly complicated developments, with a major focus being placed on economic development to reduce the overall damage caused by the outbreak. In order to operate the Vietnamese economy in the medium and long term, minimising the damage in its initial stages will help to create conditions for a quicker economic recovery, the Deputy Minister said.
The second step can be initiated once the risk and initial impact of the COVID-19 epidemic is reduced in line with advice from the government, the Prime Minister, and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control. From here, it is proposed that the nation will take gradual steps towards economic recovery, with the MPI asking the government to gradually reopen economic activities.
“We will focus on how to recover the domestic market first and then on foreign markets due to many countries worldwide still seeing many complicated developments because of the pandemic. Therefore, our country's economy has not been completely opened but we still have to combine epidemic prevention with economic development," Deputy Minister Phuong stated.
According to the Deputy Minister, the MPI is now operating in the context of a new normal, with all scenarios regarding economic development being placed in the context of the COVID-19 existing domestically. Consequently, policies should combine epidemic prevention measures with economic development.
During the third step, greater attention must be given to both the service and tourism industry, with the Deputy Minister adding that if the industry fails to lure visitors, a number of other industries such as transportation, catering, and accommodation will suffer negative impacts as a result due to their operations relying heavily on tourists.
On a global scale, it is widely thought that any economy that is able to end the epidemic as fast as possible will enjoy success. Therefore, the MPI will be taking into account ways in which to seize opportunities to promote the local economy, whilst also striving to undertake changes in terms of structuring the nations finances and business structure.
In this context it is highly likely that there will a shift in international investment, especially when major economic corporations are considering diversifying their supply chain, with the country well positioned to take advantage of such changes, he added.VOV