The year 2020 was a challenging and unique time, as the business community and governments at all levels strived to cope with the calamity of COVID-19, which negatively affected business and investments of almost every operation - from micro-sized firms to giant corporations. Every part of the country felt the effect of the global pandemic, from mountainous regions to coastal beaches to major, urban metropolises. The 2020 PCI report therefore dedicates a special chapter to investigate how COVID-19 has impacted the business community in Vietnam, bringing fresh insights into the challenges that firms had to face. Prompt responses were essential to contain the virus’ spread and support from the national and provincial governments helped businesses cope with the economic shock.
Vietnam was successful in its dual efforts to contain the pandemic and maintain economic growth, emerging as one of the few countries in the world to record a reasonably high rate of positive economic growth in 2020. Furthermore, the PCI-FDI survey, which received over 1,500 responses from foreign invested firms operating in Vietnam, shows that the country remains an attractive destination for foreign investment, despite the hardships experienced over the course of the year.
Domestically, 2020 marked the conclusion of the five-year administrative term of the national Vietnamese government, which presided over impressive changes across many domains of the business landscape during its time in office. Highlights include political and regulatory stability, administrative procedures reform, enhanced bureaucratic proactivity and ingenuity, and, perhaps most importantly, historic lows of informal charges due to the anticorruption campaign.