The number of public holidays in Vietnam is lower than those in other Asian countries, an official has said, rejecting claims that too many breaks during the year have hurt the country's economic growth.
Vietnam has a total 10 days off in a year, while the number is 27 in Cambodia, 18 in the Philippines, 17 in China, 14 in Japan and 12 in Laos, Dao Hong Lan, deputy minister of labor, told the Spring Economic Forum in the central province of Nghe An on Wednesday.
Lan was responding to Tran Dinh Thien, director of the Vietnam Economic Institute, who said Vietnam is having too many public holidays, making its economic growth unstable.
Thien could be referring to long weekends and extended holidays.
For instance, the country will soon have a six-day break starting April 28, to celebrate Hung Kings' Day, Liberation Day and Labor Day.
Some experts also told the forum that low productivity is hampering Vietnam’s development.
But Lan said Vietnam is in the list of 46 countries with the most working hours – 48 hours per week.
Bui Sy Loi, vice chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee of Social Affairs, told news website VnExpress that public holidays may affect business activities, but negative impact could be reduced if authorities announce holiday plans early.
“If they do that, businesses will have enough time to arrange extra shifts to make up for the days off,” he said.