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Asia Briefing

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Vietnam Business Coronavirus Updates 

By Dezan Shira & Associates

As of 26 June, Vietnam has declared 352 cases of coronavirus. However, Dezan Shira and Associates has concerns that more cases will arise. Travelers from epidemic-affected areas will face additional checks and screening.

Of the 352 cases, 329 of the patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. Vietnam has quarantined several suspected cases of the virus as a precaution. Suspected cases are those people who have returned from epidemic areas or have had direct contact with returnees from epidemic areas and show symptoms as per the Ministry of Health.

Businesses operating in Vietnam need to prepare for an escalation of the coronavirus and be ready for measures taken by the authorities to get enforced with little or no notice. 

Dezan Shira recommends businesses in Vietnam contact their staff to ascertain where they are and discuss any regional or national advisories concerning travel. Staff experiencing any cough or flu-like symptoms should not return to the office or factory.

Dezan Shira continues to provide updates as they become available. 

Latest Updates

  • Vietnam’s National Assembly ratified the EU Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) on 8 June. Following the approval, the deal could take effect as early as August. The FTA is expected to boost the country’s manufacturing sector and exports as it recovers from the pandemic. 
  • Vietnamese carriers resumed all domestic operations, with national carrier Vietnam Airlines launching six new domestic routes. However, no date has been set to resume normal international operations.
  • The Ministry of Transport has allowed the increase in the frequency of domestic flights on the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route as well as the reopening of other domestic routes. However, this will depend on demand, and travelers should still confirm travel details with the airlines.
  • Vietnam will grant e-visas to citizens of 80 countries from 1 July 2020, as per Resolution No. 79/NQ-CP. Details on the list of countries can be accessed here. While this is a positive sign, Vietnam’s borders remain closed to foreign visitors due to the pandemic.
  • Vietnam is planning a US$679 million cut in corporate income tax for small and medium-sized businesses to combat COVID-19.
  • Vietnam’s Immigration Department has announced that it will extend temporary residence permits for those who have entered before 1 March until 30 June. Foreigners who have entered on visa-free policies, e-visas, or tourist visas since 1 March will also be entitled to the same automatic extension program until 30 June.
  • Vietnam’s Immigration Department will allow foreign nationals on visa-free, tourist visas (including e-visas) who are unable to leave the country, to extend their stays up to a period of 30 days by filing an application with the authority. The policy is effective from 30 March to 30 April. Foreigners who have entered for work or other purposes can contact their embassies and sponsors for further guidance in accordance with the law. A list of documents needed for extensions can be found on the government website here.
  • The United States became Vietnam’s leading export market between January and May with export turnover of US$24.6 billion, an annual increase of 8.2%. This is despite a fall of 17% year on year in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the same period.
  • Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have asked hospitals to check the history of foreign patients’ entry into Vietnam and documents of mandatory quarantine completion before providing medical services.
  • Around 1,000 skilled foreign specialists are expected to enter the country and be quarantined in early June before being deployed at oil and steel projects in Quang Ngai province. 
  • Apple is set to produce its first ever over-ear headphones in Vietnam—the first time it will manufacture a new product outside China.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that Vietnam’s economic growth may slow down to 2.7% this year due to the pandemic, but may pick up to 7% in 2021.
  • More than 18,000 household businesses were forced to shut down in Ho Chi Minh City in the first four months of the year as per the city’s Tax Department.
  • The United States will give Vietnam an aid package worth US$9.5 million to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Vietnam could miss its target of having one million businesses this year due to the pandemic causing many to shut down. However, the government has issued a financial assistance package for employers and employees.
  • The government is considering a US$2.73 billion emergency package for those affected by COVID-19. The measures target several beneficiaries in the next three months.
  • Vietnam’s Prime Minister has stated that he wants the fiscal stimulus package to revive the country’s economy to be increased from US$1.27 billion to US$6.36 billion. Vietnamese fruit exporters have been affected by the surging prices of air freight due to the limited number of commercial flights. Despite high demand, exports have fallen by half in the past two months with freight operators demanding two to four times the normal prices.

Dezan Shira is also providing country-by-country coronavirus updates and advisories concerning ASEAN (as well as Vietnam).

To prepare for business measures in Vietnam, Dezan Shira recommends reading the “Managing Your China Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak” articlewhich contains an advisory for businesses operating in China, but may also be required should an outbreak extend to affect businesses operating in Vietnam. We strongly advise precautionary measures begin to be taken.

While travel to Vietnam can continue, Dezan Shira recommends taking precautions and following advice from Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.

This article was first published by Vietnam Briefing.

Since its establishment in 1992, Dezan Shira & Associates has been guiding foreign clients through Asia’s complex regulatory environment and assisting them with all aspects of legal, accounting, tax, internal control, HR, payroll, and audit matters. As a full-service consultancy with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, and ASEAN, we are your reliable partner for business expansion in this region and beyond.

For inquiries, please email us at [email protected]. Further information about our firm can be found at: