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HCM CITY BUSINESSES ADAPT TO ‘NEW NORMAL’
Though the COVID-19 pandemic remains unpredictable, many businesses in the country’s pandemic hotspot HCM City have resumed full operations despite stringent prevention protocols and human resource shortages.
Đặng Công Bình, director of DLG Ansen Electronics Co., Ltd in the HCM City Hi-Tech Park, said his plant has resumed full operations with almost all workers returning to work.
The firm, whose order book is full until the end of 2022, is speeding up production to meet orders from the US and EU, he said.
To get orders amid the pandemic, it live-streams videos of its production lines and workers to gain customers’ trust, he said.
Workers take turns to work overtime to ensure orders are fulfilled during the peak year-end season, he added.
A spokesperson for the HCM City Hi-Tech Park Enterprise Association said many companies in the park have been recruiting workers to revive production.
Phan Minh Thông, general director of Phúc Sinh Company, which has been exporting pepper, coffee and farm produce for the last 20 years, said domestic sales have risen by half to almost VNĐ100 billion (US$4.4 million).
New management and operations
Trịnh Tiến Dũng, general director of Đại Dũng Metallic Manufacture Construction and Trade Corporation, said there are plenty of opportunities for businesses returning to the market, but most would have to adapt by improving their management and operations.
Lâm An Dậu, general director of Vĩnh Tiến Paper Joint Stock Company, said the COVID outbreaks had helped businesses adapt to live safely with the virus.
He said during the largest outbreak his company quickly shifted from producing paper used for notebooks to high-quality masks.
“The market needed masks, so we responded quickly. We kept production going and retained our workers.”
Nearly all workers have returned to work, he said.
“To ensure the safety of businesses and workers, the business community propose the Government ensure enough and early vaccines for workers.”
A spokesperson for a manufacturing company in the Tân Thuận Export Processing Zone in District 7 said normal production has resumed under the “new normal.”
It is important to ensure there are enough workers to fulfil the orders during the year-end season, he said.
A spokesperson for a company in District 12 said periodic testing has been finding some workers with COVID, and this results in having to disinfect the plant, testing everyone who had been in close contact with the patients and monitoring the situation for a few days.
The local health department has to be notified to send the infected workers for treatment or isolation at home, he said.
According to the VietUnion Online Services Corporation, which operates the Payoo payments platform, most service industries have prospered since October.
The plaform’s non-cash payment transaction data also shows that fashion and cosmetic stores’ revenues have increased by nearly half from September and by 20 per cent compared to the period before the pandemic.
Figures for the first half of November show that some shopping malls have doubled their revenues from the same period in October and increased it marginally from the same period in May.
On e-commerce sites, food items and other essential goods have seen good sales in recent weeks, admittedly when big discounts are on offer.
On Tiki, imported frozen meats, pizzas and confectionery always say ‘sold out’.
A Lotte Mart spokesperson said the South Korean supermarket is offering promotions in December with discounts of up to 70 per cent.
Thông of Phúc Sinh Company said e-commerce is among the major distribution channels for businesses that know about them.
Trương Tiến Dũng, general director of the Saigon Seafood Trading Joint Stock Company, said the biggest problems are the low demand in the domestic market and the sharp increase in production costs due to the shortage in supply of raw materials.
His company has been working at more than 80 per cent capacity since early Novermber, he said.
“We try not to disrupt the supply chain or lose the market.”
However, businesses need supportive policies, he added.
“Ensuring jobs for workers until Tết (Lunar New Year) is our top priority.”
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