|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (centre) speaks at a meeting with representatives from businesses across the country, which was held online on Sunday. VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
HÀ NỘI — The Government always cares about businesses and will fight side by side with them against the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính said at a meeting with business representatives across the country yesterday.
The meeting was held online between Government leaders and business owners, business associations and local authorities in 63 provinces and cities.
It aimed to identify challenges facing businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and find solutions so they can resume operations.
PM Chính and the Deputy Prime Ministers, ministers and other leaders of central-government organisations joined the meeting from the Government's office in Hà Nội.
Speaking at the meeting, PM Chính said despite the difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19, with support from the Government and the people, businesses across the country had gained certain achievements in keeping their employees safe and maintaining production chains.
This was illustrated by an increase of 5.64 per cent in economic growth in the first seven months of the year, and foreign direct investment grew by 3.8 per cent compared to the same period last year, he said.
He praised efforts from businesses and thanked them for supporting the Government and the people in fighting the pandemic despite being faced with many production challenges.
He stressed that the Party and the Government always cared about businesses and tried to understand the struggles they face, and proactively implemented policies that could help them get unstuck.
This was a difficult time for businesses, but they needed to stay positive, be strong, keep their faith, and keep in mind that the more challenging the situation is, the more solidarity is needed between the Government, business and the people to overcome it.
The Government leader stressed that with the spirit "fighting the pandemic is like fighting the enemy", the country's ultimate goals were to prevent medical and economic crises, ensure safety for the people, and bring their lives back to normal at the beginning of next year at the latest.
For that to happen, Chính said COVID-19 prevention measures, especially social distancing, must be strictly implemented to reduce infections.
"We are willing to sacrifice a few months to have more safe zones, and sacrifice our needs for peace and health," he said.
He also said opinions provided by businesses at the meeting would be collected and used as a foundation for a Government decree on supporting and developing business during this critical time.
Challenges caused by COVID-19 were outlined by business leaders at the meeting. They included sharp falls in demand that led to major drops in orders, contracts and output, revenue drops, and lack of capital that made it difficult for businesses to stay afloat.
Disruption in the supply, consumption and export chains was also a barrier, they said, and so were traffic congestion and goods circulation and deliveries across the country due to different disease prevention measures implemented at some localities.
Business leaders said they also faced challenges in recruiting foreign workers and experts due to limited entries, and in utilising the State’s preferential policies due to complicated procedures and dubious regulations in some areas.
Representatives from businesses said they appreciated and highly valued the companionship, directions, solutions and policies offered by the Government and the PM to help them maintain production.
They also asked the Government leaders for drastic solutions on issues related to traffic control, goods deliveries, vaccinations for foreign experts, as well as specific preferential policies to reduce operational costs and taxes and help businesses recover from the pandemic. — VNS