10 billion USD e-commerce targeted by 2020 hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: anninhthudo.vn)

HCM City (VNA)
- The Vietnamese e-commerce market is expected to surge in the next five years, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which has set an online sales target of 10 billion USD or 5 percent of total retail sales.

“Vietnamese e-commerce has achieved significant progress, creating infrastructure and becoming very popular with consumers and businesses,” Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) quoted Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa as saying at a seminar late last month.

The e-commerce market share has expanded, with small cities accounting for 25 percent of last year’s 4 billion USD sales, and Hanoi and HCM City for 75 percent.

The seminar also heard that Hanoi accounted for 5,161 e-commerce websites, or 5.6 per cent of all websites in the city.

According to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s information technology and e-commerce department, around 50 million people use the internet and three-fourths of them shop online. Last year’s 4 billion USD sales represented a growth of 37 percent from 2014, and accounted for 2.8 percent of total retail turnover.

The entry of more people and small and tiny enterprises into social media increased e-commerce turnover.

An estimated 32 million people, or 36 percent of the Vietnamese population, used social media frequently.

Some 30 percent of consumers always refer to social media before shopping, 28 percent of businesses advertise and sell on them, and 62 percent of e-commerce websites have integrated with social networks like Facebook (70 percent), Google Plus and Twitter (27 and 18 percent respectively).

“Vietnamese e-commerce turnover is still very small, at only 4 billion USD,” Lai Viet Anh, deputy head of the department, said.

“The figure is 617 billion USD in China, 39 billion USD in the Republic of Korea and 14 billion USD in India.”

Most urban residents in Vietnam may be familiar with e-commerce, but in rural areas it is not well-known, she said.

“It won’t be difficult to reach the 10 billion USD target, but the Government must create infrastructure and a legal framework for e-commerce.”

Nguyen Thanh Hung, Chairman of the Vietnam E-commerce Association, said: “The Government will play a very important role in e-commerce. Besides creating proper infrastructure and a legal framework, the Government will also be a big user by calling for online tenders and providing online public services.”

It should protect the rights of consumers shopping online, he said.

To achieve the target, infrastructure, market size, the use of e-commerce by the business community and government offices must all be stepped up sharply, he said.

Thoa said, “We need comprehensive cooperation between localities, ministries and industries to develop e-commerce.”

Her ministry is developing an online marketplace at www.tuhaoviet.vn and many local businesses are keen to get on it, she said, adding in the future, the ministry will develop more websites to support local enterprises with e-commerce.-VNA