The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is developing measures to ensure the supply of goods for the Lunar New Year in 2022 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trần Duy Đông, Director of MoIT's Domestic Market Department, speaks with Vietnam News Agency about this issue.
What are the consumption trends and plan for supplying goods for the upcoming Lunar New Year?
The complicated and prolonged pandemic in many provinces and cities nationwide is affecting economic, commercial and service activities, making it difficult for businesses in maintaining production and business. Many workers have lost their jobs, and people's incomes have decreased.
Therefore, purchasing power by year-end is expected to decrease against the same period last year, mainly focusing on food and essential goods for daily consumption and the Lunar New Year in 2022.
Moreover, after the fourth outbreak of COVID-19, the trading method has also changed from traditional to online commercial channels to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
To prepare for the Lunar New Year in 2022, the ministry is directing localities, businesses and relevant offices to review goods supply and demand and existing product supply systems. Then, they will build plans to supply goods by Tết festival.
In addition, the ministry is implementing programmes on stabilising the domestic market to ensure the supply of essential food with stable prices. It will also have programmes to bring Vietnamese goods to rural, mountainous and island areas.
At the same time, the ministry will strengthen inspections and management of the market to fight smuggling and trade fraud, and ensure food safety.
MoIT continues to monitor prices and markets in the localities to promptly cope with market fluctuations. It has proposed the localities soon reopen traditional markets with conditions ensuring pandemic prevention and control.
The ministry will work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to ensure enough farm produce for the domestic market before and during Tết, especially all kinds of meat, vegetables and fruits.
The ministry will closely coordinate with ministries, sectors, people's committees and departments of industry and trade nationwide to solve difficulties in transporting goods. It will also work with large distribution enterprises to regulate the supply of goods or support producers in the sale of agricultural products in the harvest season.
What are the specific plans on developing goods supply and storage systems?
To ensure the supply of essential goods, MoIT has requested localities to develop plans on supplying goods for many scenarios depending on development of COVID-19. The ministry will give support for those localities in building and implementing those plans.
At present, the localities have actively developed plans and urged production, business and distribution enterprises to ensure the supply of essential goods.
The direct distribution channels still continue supplying goods to people, including wholesale markets, wet markets, supermarkets, trade centres, minimarts and convenience stores.
The localities will deploy many alternative sales methods as when the direct distribution system is closed temporarily due to a COVID-19 outbreak in localities like HCM City and southern provinces, where many wholesale markets and wet markets were closed.
In addition, the ministry has coordinated with other ministries and sectors to prioritise vaccinations for workers in the supply and distribution chains and has provided support in human resources for sales, delivery, logistics and transport stages.
Meanwhile, large retail distribution systems such as Saigon Co.op, Satramart, Big C, Vincommerce, Mega Market, Aeon Vietnam and Bách Hóa Xanh, will ensure stable prices of essential goods with safe measures in pandemic prevention and control. They will also diversify sales methods to supply goods for customers.
Currently, consumers are afraid of food and essential goods shortages, especially when Tết is approaching. What is your opinion on this issue?
Ensuring the supply of goods, especially food, is one of the top tasks of MoIT and the Department of Domestic Market.
The ministry has established a steering committee on essential goods and service supply and supported enterprises nationwide in maintaining production and business. It also has started special working groups to closely coordinate with the departments of industry and trade in cities and provinces and the distribution systems in regulating goods supply.
In recent virus outbreaks, the supply of essential goods has been ensured, even during the social distancing period in localities to control the pandemic. Shortages of goods have only happened in some places at some times because people have rushed to buy and keep goods due to fear of shortages.
The ministry has urged localities to ensure supply depending on the development of COVID-19 and it has also supported them when required.
Reports from the localities show there are enough goods with stable prices to meet demand, even if localities apply social distancing measures like in Phú Thọ Province.
Therefore, people should not panic buy. VNS