Better policies needed to overcome impacts of pandemic
Though the Government has taken decisive steps to curb the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still risks to the economy, economists said at a seminar in Hanoi on October 15.
|Pham Hong Chuong, rector of the National Economics University suggests to implement more drastic measures to increase the resistance of the economy in the pandemic of COVID-19. (Photo: NEU)|
Though the Government has taken decisive steps to curb the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still risks to the economy, economists said at a seminar in Hanoi on October 15.At a seminar on policies to overcome the impact of the pandemic held by the National Economics University and other partners, rector of the university and economist Pham Hong Chuong said: “The Government should implement more drastic measures to increase the resistance of the economy."
Chuong added: "The country needs to prepare capacity to respond to the pandemic and have a quick economic recovery when the virus is controlled, preventing a decline into recession.”
Although local authorities have provided timely and flexible packages to help people and the economy stay safe amid the pandemic, Nguyen Minh Son, deputy chairman of the National Assembly’s Economic Committee, said difficulties in disbursement were still preventing people from accessing the support.
“It is necessary to evaluate the disbursement rate of the support package, clarify the causes of slow implementation in some places and offer solutions.”
The number of enterprises temporarily suspending operations reached 34,300 in the first nine months of the year, up 70.8 percent from the same period last year. In September, about 17.6 million workers had their incomes reduced, of which 2.4 million lost their jobs while the unemployment rate was reported to be the highest in 10 years.
Bui Duc Tho, vice rector of the university, urged the Government to give more support for businesses and local producers, adding: “Support policies should be clear and transparent, minimising the procedures to access them.”
Tho said small and medium enterprises should receive more attention due to the poor resilience of this type of business amid the pandemic, mentioning there were thousands of small firms in tourism and service industries that had to shut down as they ran out of capital.
Attending the seminar, economist Vo Tri Thanh said the effectiveness of the first support package was low, adding: "I'm very concerned that the second support package that should have been launched in September is not yet ready."
Participants at the seminar said while the tourism industry and related sectors such as transport, restaurants and services suffered due to declines in international visitors, information and technology; electronic equipment and accessories, logistics, e-commerce, consumer goods and retail saw good growth.
Son from the National Assembly’s Economic Committee said the FDI flows were shifted from processing, manufacturing and real estate to technology and retail as the country was one of the most attractive for investment.
However, he added: “To compete with other countries in the region in attracting FDI, Vietnam needs clear orientations and solutions in both the short and long term.”
Son said: “Solutions are needed to increase productivity and attract investment from the private sector and high-quality FDI, increase exports, public investment and domestic consumption.”
As economist Vo Tri Thanh said: “Expectations for the second support package are huge.”
Participants from ministries, departments, central branches, international organisations, universities and economists discussed important issues and suggested policies and economic development models to overcome the impacts of the pandemic in Hanoi.
They also forecast the opportunities and challenges for the local economy in the last months of 2020 and next year.