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Vietnam needs stimulus package to target growth

February 13, 2020

HANOI: Vietnam must work out a stimulus package this month to help businesses cope with a coronavirus epidemic that is expected to keep the economy from achieving a target of 6.8 per cent growth this year, the planning ministry said on Wednesday.
The virus outbreak has killed more than 1,100 people in China, Vietnam’s largest trading partner, and the southeast Asian nation confirmed another case on Tuesday, taking its total to 15.
“The epidemic has caused widespread impacts, disrupting global supply chains,” the Planning and Investment Ministry said in a statement submitted to the government.
“Vietnam has an open economy and shares a long border with China, so the impact (on Vietnam) will be significant.”
Vietnam’s central bank should offer credit support for small- and medium-sized enterprises and farmers hit by the virus, it said, such as interest rate cuts and deferred loan repayment. The finance ministry should consider cutting taxes and delay tax payment and land rent payment for certain affected businesses, it added.

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