Vietnamese industrial parks ramp up manufacturing recovery

Friday, 2021-10-08 16:07:33
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Workers at the Hoa Cam Industrial Park in Da Nang (Photo:Thanh Tung)
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NDO - As the new normal state is established, manufacturing companies in key economic regions are quickly reorganising their production with strict regulations to ensure safety against COVID-19 for their factories and regain growth momentum in the final months of the year.

Assuming responsibility for epidemic prevention regulations at their own facilities is a basic criterion adopted by most enterprises based in processing zones and industrial parks after reopening.

On October 6, about 1,000 workers of JUKI Vietnam, equivalent to 90% of its workforce, have returned to their factories at Tan Thuan Export-Processing Zone in Ho Chi Minh City. Workers were required to test for coronavirus and pledge to only travel from their homes to the company and vice versa using their personal vehicles.

Chief executive Dao Quoc Cuong said the company’s COVID-19 prevention rules have been approved by Hepza, the agency in charge of managing export-processing and industrial zones in Ho Chi Minh City. The JUKI board of directors stated that the safe production plan and high vaccination rate, with 95% of workers having received two shots, are favourable factors for the company to accelerate production and enhance productivity to offset for the prolonged social distancing period.

Hepza Deputy Director Pham Thanh Truc said enterprises must meet safe production criteria concerning the management of manufacturing activities and the movement of workers from the place of residence to the workplace if they want to resume their operations.

In the neighbouring province of Dong Nai, the management board of industrial parks permitted workers residing in “green zones” to return to work starting from October 1. Following the permission, more than 5,000 of Pousung Vietnam’s 27,000 workers returned to factories in Bau Xeo Industrial Park on October 5 after nearly three months of suspension. All Pousung employees returning to work were tested for coronavirus and allowed to enter the factories only if the result was negative.

In the northern province of Ha Nam, industrial parks have raised the COVID-19 prevention level to the highest amid the new complicated developments of the local virus situation. Workers of Hua Zhuang Electronics in Dong Van I Industrial Park are staggered into three shifts and provided with on-site shelters and meals. To date, 90% of the company’s workers have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

At Tonghe Vina also in Dong Van I Industrial Park, rooms have been arranged for workers to sleep over so that the company can fulfil their orders as planned. Currently 100% of its local workers have been inoculated with one dose while 45% of workers from Hanoi have been fully vaccinated. Coronavirus screening tests are also conducted once per week.

Workers at the Bien Hoa II Industrial Park in Dong Nai Province (Photo: Thien Vuong)

In order to help enterprises in overcoming difficulties and soon regaining growth momentum, provincial authorities throughout Vietnam have all determined that stepping up administrative reform, holding dialogues with businesses to address their difficulties, and increasing monitoring of epidemic prevention measures are key tasks until the end of 2021.

Recently, the central city of Da Nang held a conference with the business community to listen to their proposals on dealing with their current challenges. Nguyen Van Quang, the municipal Party Secretary, emphasised that Da Nang will introduce an economic recovery plan with support being prioritised for key industries that can produce a positive spillover effect on other sectors in the economy.

The city is planning to vaccinate all workers with at least one shot by the end of October and two shots by the end of the year. Da Nang will also support half of the testing costs for enterprises and simplify administrative procedures so that enterprises can quicky restart and expand their projects.

Da Nang’s efforts to curb the epidemic have boosted the confidence of domestic and foreign investors. On October 5, Japan’s Fujikin held a ground-breaking ceremony for a research and development centre worth US$35 million in Da Nang High-tech Park. The centre will house R&D projects of robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, hydrogen energy devices, nanodevices, artificial intelligence, water purification systems, wireless power transmission system, and new material technology.

In the first nine months of 2021, industrial parks in Da Nang attracted 17 projects, including four foreign-invested projects worth US$145.33 million in total and 13 domestic projects worth VND544.4 billion (US$23.9 million).

According to Ha Nam Vice Chairman Tran Xuan Duong, the province has asked the management boards of industrial parks to work with the health sector to speed up COVID-19 vaccination for workers. To date, around 69,000 workers at industrial parks in the province have been immunised.

For its part, Dong Nai Province has established a steering committee to promptly address the difficulties facing enterprises and asked functional authorities to provide easy-to-understand guidelines on the requirements for reopening in order to facilitate businesses in resuming their operations.