Support for riot victims at top of Vietnam Business Forum agenda

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Support for riot victims at top of Vietnam Business Forum agenda

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The government and foreign businesses will continue to confer on measures to help companies affected by the mid-May riots in central and southern to recover, according to comments made during the mid-term Vietnam Business Forum, which opened in Hanoi on Thursday.
The Vietnam Business Forum provides an opportunity for structured dialogue between the government, local and foreign businesses and the donor community to improve Vietnam's business environment.
This year, the forum was supposed to focus on the potential socio-economic impacts of the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreements, VnExpress reported.
However, many foreign business representatives came to the meeting eager to discuss measures designed to help riot-affected companies recover from the damage and resume their normal operations.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met with representatives of the Taiwanese business community – which suffered most in the riots – before the opening of the VBF.
Fred Burke, Liason for VBF Investment & Trade Working Group, told the forum that a comprehensive reckoning of the riots' impacts in certain industrial parks had yet to be finalized.
He said reports on the serious interruption of certain economic sectors, particularly export-related ones, are still being sent.
The Working Group said the government's most urgent task is to reduce the impact on workers by speeding up social and unemployment insurance payments and to ensure that salaries get paid on time.
The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) President Vu Tien Loc said that measures to support affected companies recently put forward by the government are relatively comprehensive and timely, but difficulties in implementation remain.
He suggested that each local government establish a wholly-authorized committee to deal with all riot-related matters, especially employee payment and other personnel issues.
VCCI learned from its inspection tours of affected cities and provinces that each locality took a different approach to supporting companies, Loc told the forum.
He also suggested that regular written updates on all available support be sent to the affected companies in Vietnamese, English and Chinese .
Virginia Foote, Board President at US-Vietnam Trade Council, suggested that lawyers and legal consultants be allowed to assist in helping to calculate damages and make the compensation process more transparent and fair for investors.
Loc, the president of the VCCI, told the forum that the continued presence of the Haiyan Shiyou-981 oil rig in Vietnamese territorial waters may badly affect Vietnam-China trade and economic relations.

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