A surprising winner of the U.S.-China trade war, Vietnam’s economy is emerging as the latest supply-chain casualty of the pandemic.
American companies that diversified their supplier bases outside of China to places like Vietnam to avoid then-President Donald Trump’s tariffs are now battling to ship goods through local restrictions as Covid outbreaks spread across Southeast Asia.
The latest on the ground: Vietnam’s major industrial southern provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai extended stay-home orders and evening curfews in many of their localities for another 15 days beginning Wednesday.
As Bloomberg’s Michelle Jamrisko and Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen report from the region, Vietnam’s government has prioritized vaccinating workers at factories, from Samsung in the north to Intel and garment factories in Ho Chi Minh City.
Covid variant spoils Vietnam's export win streak, adding to global woes
Sources: IHS Markit, JPMorgan
Notes: 50 marks the dividing line between expansion and contraction in purchasing managers index
Of 53 countries in Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking, the bottom five are all in Southeast Asia, with No. 50 Vietnam falling four spots from the previous month. Those same five countries provide about 6% of global exports and supply crucial inputs to the world’s top economies, including half of U.S. semiconductor imports, according to estimates by Natixis.
Read More: Factory Sleepovers Guard Vietnam’s Workers From Covid
As the virus outpaces the vaccination effort, the race is on among importers of Vietnamese products to ensure there’s enough that will arrive before the year-end holiday rush.
“We’re quickly moving into a situation where American kids are going to open gift-wrapped boxes under the Christmas tree to find a little note that says, ‘Sorry, that cool present from your Mom and Dad isn’t available right now. Please wait about six months,’” said Adam Sitkoff, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi.
The situation isn’t getting better elsewhere in the region. Manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes for Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia all remained deep in negative territory in August, reflecting the disruption from lockdowns that forced factories to halt or slow production.
—Brendan Murray in London
Swiss companies are looking closer to home for suppliers, a poll shows
Source: Credit Suisse, procure.ch
Swiss businesses are increasingly adjusting their supply chains as they battle through the pandemic, choosing to place more orders with European firms, a survey found. A Credit Suisse and procure.ch poll published on Wednesday found that approximately half the companies said they’d adapted their supply chains, up from one in three firms surveyed a year ago. It showed 18% said they were purchasing more within Switzerland, while 16% were looking at European suppliers.
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