Expats in Vietnam happy about economic reopening

Expats in Vietnam happy about economic reopening

Expats in Vietnam happy about economic reopening

Expats in Vietnam are the first foreign South East Asian residents to benefit from local economy re-opening.

Whilst other SEA countries are extending their various bans and lockdowns, Vietnam has already ended overall social distancing with the exception of several Hanoi districts and has now shown no new infections for a full week due to its strict testing regime. Out of the ten South East Asian countries, Vietnam is way ahead as regards control over the epidemic and its attack on the country’s thriving economy.

Oddly, compared to the rest of the world, Southeast Asian coronavirus case numbers are miniscule, making up just 1.3 per cent of the world total of infections. It’s suspected that Indonesia may be massaging its numbers in a downward direction, but Southeast Asia seems to have got off lightly as regards the pandemic. However, the effect on its economies has yet to be seen in full, and the picture is expected to be far from pretty.

Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand have all imposed strict levels of protection, with Thailand’s range of lockdowns, business closures, nightly curfew, inter-province travel bans, roadside checkpoints and more including a ban on alcohol as well as compulsory distancing and the wearing of masks. Most of Thailand’s measures were considered by expats as well as locals to be excessive, considering that the country has one of the lowest numbers of infections and deaths in the world, even although it has to be said that the northern tourist hub of Chiang Mai was crawling with Wuhan Chinese tourists when the pandemic broke.

Even now, prohibitions across the entire country are the order of the day as well as for the next month, and are reported to have caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, leaving huge numbers of locals unable to buy food or pay rent. As regards Thailand’s devastated tourism industry, optimists suggest 2021 as the earliest recovery date, dependent on how quickly international flights are permitted to resume. Malaysia and the Philippines are also now in extended lockdowns until mid-May, but Thailand’s version is most likely to continue for longer, causing even more economic woes to its people and its large expat community.

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