What Vietnam looks like after 4 waves of COVID
Objectively one of the greatest crises of the 21st century, the global COVID-19 pandemic has been, and still is, taking its toll on the best of our nations. However, looking at the small Southeast Asian country of Vietnam, things are looking brighter. The country is currently quickly recovering from 2021’s heavy fourth wave of COVID. In fact, in many respects, the country is already arriving at its economic status before the pandemic hit, specifically in agriculture, logistics and mining.
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Just recently, as of March, all policies regarding entry, exit, and visa issuance for visiting countries have returned to pre-pandemic procedures. That includes a visa exemption for up to 25 countries and an option for tourist e-visa of up to 30 days.
Moreover, the government is also showing great confidence in its viral management by removing the need for health declarations for domestic travel and international arrivals. These were previously a crucial part of the effective set of measures against COVID spreads.
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The main reason for this is likely the outstanding vaccination rates that were rolled out across the country, with 85% of the entire population vaccinated. Nearly 60% had already been administered a third dose at the time of writing, according to VnExpress. A healthy population undoubtedly provides a reliable premise for economic development.
Remaining Covid restrictions in Vietnam
Some regulations are still to be observed concerning foreign travels to Vietnam nonetheless. A negative RT-PCR/RT-LAMP COVID-19 test result within 72 hours before arrival or equivalent must be presented upon entry. Afterward, visitors must monitor their health for signs and symptoms of infection for ten days. Additionally, they are to download Vietnam’s updated app for COVID prevention and control, PC-Covid, and keep it active during their stay.
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Aftermath and future prospects
As the pandemic becomes less and less of a concern, the economy is starting to look to the future to establish Vietnam’s position as the fastest-growing marketplace for expansion in Southeast Asia. Predictions by worldwide organizations and experts, including the GSO and IMF among others, point to a jump of double or even triple the GDP growth of last year, which brings back the pace of economic development that the country enjoyed before 2020.
Among its achievements in 2022, exports continue to be the spearhead for the economy’s rebound due to China’s ongoing “zero-Covid” strategy. However, the situation is not as ideal as it could be under the influences of the escalating Russo-Ukrainian war.
The first quarter of 2022 also observed considerable growth in the workforce, especially in the highly urbanized Southeast region. Figures for the labor market and employment rates are recovering well beyond last year’s first quarter, although still on their way back to their pre-pandemic high.
In other promising news, the past few months also boasted a significant increase in new and returning businesses. In particular, April alone saw 15,000 new company incorporations and 7,000 returns to the market. These encouraging numbers directly result from the nation’s decisive and effective socio-economic recovery and development policies.
More specifically, earlier this year, the government launched its Economic Recovery and Development Programme (ERDP). The ERDP involves fiscal propositions from tax reductions to interest rate subsidies for businesses of all sizes. It also contains investments in infrastructure development, which can build on an already attractive supply chain environment. The program is projected to stimulate the economy internally and externally in 2022 and 2023.
The recent Economy Forecast Forum in May also predicted big gains in key industries such as tourism, real estate and construction, provided that government policies continue to tackle inconsistencies between sectors in the recovery process. However, said conference also found slight upward trends of inflation in the short term, which could be a point of concern.
Vietnam is finally reaping the fruits of its efforts to contain the global viral outbreak, with admirable upturns in virtually all economic sectors and very low liability. This is predicted to actively facilitate an imminent rise in foreign investment and capital generation.