Lawmakers call for prudence in reopening borders to foreign partners hinh anh 1Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan, who is also a deputy of the city, speaks at the plenary debate on June 15 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
A number of legislators gave their opinion on measures for post-COVID-19 economic recovery on June 15, with the reopening of Vietnam’s borders to foreign partners being among the issues attracting the most attention.

The plenary debate was part of the ongoing ninth session of the 14th National Assembly in Hanoi.

Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan said Vietnam has controlled the pandemic well, with only 334 infection cases so far - much lower than the average of 1,000 patients in each country at the time COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.

Vietnam has economic relations with a host of countries and territories but only 17 of them are key partners as they account for 90 percent of foreign investment, 80 percent of foreign trade, and 80 percent of foreign tourist arrivals, he explained.

Given this, he recommended a road map be built for reopening the country to these 17 countries and territories.

Pointing out the basis for doing so, Nhan said that in May and June the pandemic was or will be declared to be over in ten of the 17, which have less than 10,000 patients currently under treatment per 1 million people - Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China), Thailand, Hong Kong (China), Germany, Australia, Samoa, and the British Virgin Islands.

The seven remainders - India, the US, Russia, Singapore, the Netherlands, Indonesia, and Malaysia - are yet to be safe from the coronavirus, so Vietnam still needs to monitor their situation and reopen to these partners when appropriate.

Nhan cited a forecast that foreign investment in Vietnam this year is likely to fall 30 percent against 2019, with foreign trade down 18 percent and tourist arrivals 50 percent, so suitable adjustments are necessary.

He suggested Vietnam declare an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, since there are only 3.4 cases per 1 million people, 0.2 patients still under treatment per 1 million people, and no related deaths so far.

Meanwhile, deputy Nguyen Lan Hieu from the Mekong Delta province of An Giang said Vietnam needs to exercise extreme prudence during the economic recovery process as it is still facing the risk of a second wave.

He underlined the necessity to carry out measures to affirm that such a risk is not as significant as in other countries, and these measures should be based on science and proposed by the health sector, in order to confirm Vietnam is safe.

He added that entry procedures for foreigners must be strict and domestic agencies should work with other countries to conduct testing for COVID-19 antibodies for those who want to enter Vietnam, as well as rapid tests at ports of entry./.