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35 pct of businesses lay off workers due to pandemic

Thirty five percent of businesses had to let staff go after being hit by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted supply chains, a survey has found.

The dwindling number of workers was one of the four major difficulties businesses faced during the pandemic, the others being difficulties in approaching customers and disruptions in cash flows and supply chains, the survey, done by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the World Bank, said.

Textile and garment was the sector with the highest number of companies reporting negative impacts (97 percent), followed by information and communications (96 percent) and electrical equipment (94 percent), the survey, which polled nearly 10,200 businesses, said.

Overall, 87 percent of companies reported negative impacts.

Small and micro businesses established less than three years ago were most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Dau Anh Tuan, head of the VCCI’s legal department, said.

But the government’s support polices were helpful, 70 percent of respondents said.

Businesses called for more long-term solutions such as increasing public investment, completing ongoing infrastructure works and providing stimulus packages.

The VCCI has called on the government to provide financial support to companies that maintain a high employment rate and subsidize the cost of training to improve workers’ skills.

Vietnamese businesses should take the opportunities thrown up by the pandemic as major Japanese, U.S., E.U., and Australian companies are looking to shift their supply chains out of China, it added.

The VCCI also did a survey of 1,564 foreign companies in Vietnam and found 87.9 percent were affected by the pandemic and 22 percent had to lay off workers.

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