It is my pleasure to address our Patron, Partners, valuable Members and Associates in my 10th year as the President of Singapore Chamber of Commerce Vietnam (HCMC).
Looking back at 2021, it has been an eventful year. It started with the inauguration of Joe Biden in January. Kamala Harris became their first female, Black and South Asian Vice-President. In February, the coup d’état in Myanmar saw the toppling of the popularly elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. America pulling out their troops in Afghanistan in April after nearly 20 years of conflict.
In 2021, Supply Chains became a household term. Businesses have assumed for decades that outsourcing production was the key to success. Then there was COVID-19. It revealed one of the drawbacks of supply chains: shortages and stoppages far away lead to shortages and stoppages closer to home. When the pandemic initially struck, factories shut down and many businesses reduced inventory to avoid being stuck with unsold items. However, when vaccines became accessible in 2021, customer demand skyrocketed, leaving many enterprises short on parts and supplies. All businesses globally experienced this on an unprecedented level. Relief to this problem is still nowhere near in sight.
Covid 19 vaccines arrived as the virus started to mutate. Just when the world thought that the Delta variant could be put under control, Omicron took the world by storm. Following a rebound to an anticipated 5.5 percent in 2021, global growth is expected to slow to 4.1 percent in 2022, owing to prolonged COVID-19 flare-ups, less fiscal support, and persisting supply bottlenecks.
Vietnam’s 2021 was by far the most challenging to date. While Vietnam was praised around the world for containing the pandemic in 2020, the Delta variant proved to be too much to handle, resulting in stringent lockdowns, industrial interruptions, and supply chain disruptions.
While most western countries suffered an excruciating 2020, Vietnam’s 2021 was harsh with the pandemic hitting Vietnam’s GDP hard. In Q3 2021, Vietnam recorded its first-ever negative GDP, since 2000 affecting businesses and its people significantly. Nevertheless, Vietnam rebounded in the last quarter and had achieved an amazing 2.58% growth while most of world’s economies were in the red. While most economies are still dealing with an ongoing covid surge or the aftermath, the business sentiment in Vietnam still remained strong followed by positive GDP growth in the foreseeable future.
For 2022, Vietnam’s government has forecast GDP growth of 6 to 6.5 percent. For us at SBG, we had a challenging 2021. With the social distancing measures in place most part of the year, we had switched to conducting more webinars events in place of physical networking sessions and forums. And that had also set the pace for us to continue conducting webinars and hybrid events (physical event with live streaming) moving forward. To continue enforcing our focus on helping businesses, we had also formulated two business-focus sub-committees (led by our members) – F&B Sub-com and Startup Sub-com. More such sub-committees are incubated as we speak. It would be an exciting ride into the new year.
We look forward to seeing all of you in our coming events.
On behalf of Singapore Chamber of Commerce Vietnam (HCMC), we will like to wish our Patron, Corporate Sponsors, Members and Associates a healthy and prosperous year of the Tiger.
President, SCCV (HCMC)