Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

After five years of implementation of the General Plan to Develop Electronic Commerce 2011-15, e-commerce has contributed greatly to the country's socio-economic growth.

A new general plan for the next five years, to be released by the Ministry of Trade, was discussed at the seminar "Policies for E-Commerce in Vietnam 2015" held in HCM City recently.

"By 2020, e-commerce will strongly develop in all cities and provinces," Tran Huu Linh, head of the Ministry of Trade's E-Commerce and Information Technology Department, said at the seminar.

Business to customer (B2C) e-commerce worldwide by 2020 will reach annual growth of 20 percent and gain 3.4 trillion USD, of which cross-border e-commerce will take 30 percent or more than 1 trillion USD.

In Vietnam, 30 percent of the population will be using online shopping by 2020, the ministry said.

B2C turnover is expected to increase by 20 percent each year, reaching 10 billion USD or 5 percent of retail turnover within the 2015-20 period.

In addition, cross-border e-commerce will develop and take 15 percent of export turnover by 2020.

"Mobile-ecommerce and local e-commerce will be the major developments," Linh said.

Mobile ecommerce globally is expected to take one-fourth of global retail at 850 billion USD, in Vietnam, 300 million USD within the period.

"Online payments will become popular and support the growth of e-commerce," he said.

The internet of things will also contribute to the trend, with 50 billion internet-connected devices expected by 2020.

However, Linh stressed that logistics would be one of the most important factors in e-commerce development.

According to a survey conducted in China, 25 percent of customers in China were not satisfied with logistics services.

"E-commerce will help enterprises develop both local and export markets, as well as join in the global supply chain," Linh said.

"But e-commerce management policies must also protect consumer rights as well as create the best conditions for enterprises," he added.

For e-commerce infrastructure, Linh said that a legal framework must be completed, and that online payments via B2C, B2B, G2C (Government to Customers) and G2B must be set up and be secure. Logistics systems must also be improved.

Promoting e-commerce in the business community is also an important task, he said.

The target is to have 60 percent of enterprises on the internet with updated information about their companies and products.

"By 2020, 80 percent of them are expected to order and receive orders through the internet, and an additional 20 percent of supermarkets and shopping centres will accept credit cards," Linh said.

Linh said that authorities must effectively supervise online trade, solve all arguments, adjust regulations, and encourage electronic bills and online payments.

"To meet the development of e-commerce, authorities should also provide more training courses for staff," he said.-VNA