Bureau Bites is a regular “pod-bite” bringing you the latest news from Vietnam and the region.

Episode Background

The Australian Government has increased measures in its bid to stem the rise of COVID-19 infection rates across its states and territories.

The measures hope to slow the virus down and will be sustained for at least that long to protect Australian lives and jobs and to allow Australia to keep functioning, said Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, on March 22.

They include operating bans on pubs, gyms and indoor sporting venues, cinemas and nightclubs, restaurants and cafes, and places of worship, and include the avoidance of non-essential travel. 

While the Australian Government has acknowledged that these new restrictions will change the way Australians live, with business owners and their employees being severely affected, what of Australians and Australian businesses in Vietnam?

Where do they find themselves in all of this?

In order to find out more, we spoke to Simon Fraser, the executive director of AusCham, who is based in Ho Chi Minh City.

We asked Simon the following questions:

1. How would you describe your past week?

2. How have Australian businesses in Vietnam been faring since COVID-19 has ramped up?

3. What financial support or otherwise do you believe Australian’s with businesses in Vietnam will receive, if any?

4. Does a contingency plan for Australians and Australians with business interests in Vietnam exist should COVID-19 escalate further and continue well into the year and perhaps into next year?

5. What advice do you have for Australian business owners in Vietnam at the moment, especially for those that have been or will be hit hard by the situation?


Produced by Matthew Cowan. Follow Matt on Instagram at @mattcowansaigon

Edited by Melanie Casul. Mel is The Bureau’s content manager. Follow her on Instagram at @melaniecasul

Special thanks to Simon Fraser. Connect with Simon on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/simonmfraser/

Feature photo by Robert Metz on Unsplash

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