During the seminar, held by the HCM City Institute for Development Studies, representatives of enterprises also called for support from authorities in trade promotions to diversify their markets and seek alternative material sources.

Go shopping at Co.opmart Ly Thuong Kiet, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: SGGP

According to Tran Thien Long, Vice Chairman of the HCM City Association for Industrial Park Businesses, his association had coordinated with the HCM City Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority to conduct a survey on the impacts of COVID-19 among 200 firms.

The survey unveils that businesses that rely on materials from China, especially those in mechanics, machinery, processing and garment-textile, have been seriously impacted and faced material shortages. They have yet to find alternative suppliers.

Other problems include the absence of new orders, huge stockpiles, late payments and high production costs.

The enterprises said that in the first quarter of this year, their turnover is expected to drop 25-50 percent. The number of laborers has also contracted significantly.

Nguyen Van Khanh, Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the HCM City Leather and Footwear Association, said many enterprises may have to suspend operations in early April due to material shortages.

Vietnam’s leather and footwear exports to the EU – its main market – have been disrupted as the bloc is now the epicenter of COVID-19.

Fifty travel companies in the city also reported that between January and February, the number of domestic and foreign tourist arrivals stood at only 335,762, down 62 percent year-on-year.

The municipal People’s Committee has proposed the Prime Minister remove difficulties for firms operating in sectors such as tourism, agriculture-rural areas, exports and support industry, as well as small-and medium-sized enterprises, high-tech firms and Saigon co.op.

HCM City has also asked for permission to access the 250 trillion VND (10.7 billion USD) credit package designed to support those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Source: VNA