The implementation of guidelines for safe COVID-19 adaptation by the government is welcomed by the WB Country Director.

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The implementation of guidelines for safe COVID-19 adaptation by the government is welcomed by the WB Country Director.

The adoption of Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP, which establishes provisional guidelines for safe adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic, is greatly welcomed because it will relieve a significant amount of unnecessary burden on people and businesses, as well as uncertainty, and investors, both domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI), are responding positively to more predictability in the environment.

Carolyn Turk, the World Bank’s (WB) Country Director for Viet Nam, made the statement on October 13 during a webinar on strategies to accelerate post-pandemic economic recovery, adapt flexibly to the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigate economic disruption, and increase locality-to-locality connectivity.

She stated that the country’s fundamentals are robust, and the World Bank is positive about the country’s longer-term growth trajectory, adding that the country’s destiny will be determined in part by what the government does in the next six months.

Carolyn Turk underlined that the Vietnamese government has already reacted by mass vaccination (over 1 million per day) and the adoption of a new government resolution that establishes a countrywide consistent framework for mobility restrictions.

She said that Viet Nam should make better use of its fiscal policies to kick-start the economy, noting that the debt level is only at 56 percent of GDP and has only barely increased in the past year, while revenue collection has been reasonably strong.

Meanwhile, borrowing costs are at an all-time low — on both local and international markets – with the government being able to borrow in EURO for essentially no money, according to Carolyn Turk.

“The good news is that Viet Nam may increase its spending without taking on more debt. This could be accomplished at both the national and subnational levels by reallocating unspent resources or allocating not-allocated resources. “The main barrier may not be money, but existing rigidities that prevent its efficient use in the short term,” Carolyn Turk said.

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