VCN- In an interview with Customs News, Adam Sitkoff, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) in Hanoi, said that the American business community in Vietnam commits that business activities will not be unduly disrupted, but needs to create more favorable conditions for immigration.
|Mr. Adam Sitkoff, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) in Hanoi.|
One of the difficulties that AmCham’s business in Vietnam has encountered in recent times is bringing foreign experts to Vietnam to work, can you tell me more about this difficulty?
Currently, entry procedures to Vietnam are often lengthy and quite complicated. In order to receive an entry permit, the person carrying out the procedures must ask for permission from many agencies, so it takes more than a month to fully process the procedures and papers. After being imported, an individual arriving in Vietnam must also complete a mandatory isolation period of 28 days. Therefore, in AmCham’s recent survey on the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam on the business situation of its members, 70% of respondents said that the company is restricting business trips in Viet Nam. 90% of AmCham members have canceled their business or personal travel schedules because of the many infections that have been recorded in more than 30 provinces and cities during this outbreak.
In your opinion, what do member businesses of AmCham think about vaccination?
To defeat Covid-19 in Vietnam, we need the continued strong and decisive leadership of the Government, the continued cooperation from the community and the greater urgency of the leaders in fighting the pandemic and supply of effective vaccines to the people.
However, no place in the world is completely safe from infectious diseases, the outbreak of this fourth wave in Vietnam is following the familiar pattern in other countries. Therefore, businesses have a responsibility to do everything in their power to protect the health and safety of their members and customers. Vaccinating the workforce is now a top priority for American businesses in Vietnam. Also according to AmCham’s survey results, AmCham members repeatedly emphasize the importance of getting more people vaccinated. 88% of respondents said their company would pay extra for a high-quality vaccine.
What comments and suggestions does AmCham have on the Government of Vietnam’s pandemic prevention and support work?
It can be seen that when the future of the pandemic is unknown, the people and Government of Vietnam have taken a lot of actions to prevent the spread of the virus.
The American business community in Vietnam is committed to standing with the Government and people of Vietnam. We understand the inevitable difficulty of choosing between stopping the spread of the virus and the need to allow normal economic activity. The health and safety of the Vietnamese people remains the Government’s number one priority. At the same time, we also ensure that business operations are not disrupted more than necessary during this time of crisis and thereby help realize new opportunities for the future.
However, management agencies need to realize that opening up tourism as well as bringing in foreign experts and businesspeople into Vietnam will be essential to create conditions for new investment activities, helping business facilities are operated efficiently as well as facilitate the education of children. Businesspeople can reach a cooperation agreement just through a video call. But to really make more effective sourcing and investment decisions, people need to meet and learn the credibility of partners before making larger commitments.
The Covid-19 vaccine has proven effective, so I encourage the authorities to consider less burdensome immigration procedures for fully vaccinated businesspeople, foreign professionals and maybe even tourists. Covid-19 is likely to continue to have an impact, and quarantining people entering for several weeks may be the right solution at this time.
However, Vietnamese policymakers need to think seriously about safer and simpler ways to create favorable conditions for international visitors to come here. Regardless of the current challenges, a more “normal” world is coming. The combination of Covid-19 testing and short-term isolation is reasonably safe for a fully immunized foreign individual.
By Huong Diu/ Huu Tuc