Hanoi (VNA) – Amid the spread and complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce and digital economy are considered an important lifesaver for businesses to boost exports and expand trade with partners.

Digital economy opens up Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung speaks at the forum. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

E-commerce and digitisation of import and export activities are a revolution that helps solve the problem 'No one is left behind' in cross-border trade activities, said Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

He made the remark at the 2020 Vietnam Online Import - Export Forum (VOIEF), organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) in coordination with the Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM) and VCCI on July 28 in Hanoi.

According to Loc, e-commerce has realised a borderless trade on both spatial and temporal perspectives. He cited an example that a coffee farmer in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak can sell his products to a shop in the United States with just a computer mouse click, and even a tailor in Vietnam can make clothes for a family in Paris, France.

Therefore, with the change and support of the digital economy, small businesses will go hand in hand with and gradually replace large enterprises specialising in mass production in the world market.

"In digital economy, 'speed' and 'boldness' will be the keywords of success, ”noted the VCCI Chairman.

Loc also highlighted the cooperation between agencies in running digital platforms as a crucial point in ensuring exports and imports, in regard to self-certification of origin, customs, logistics, and banking services.

Digital economy opens up Speakers at the 2020 Vietnam Online Import - Export Forum (VOIEF). (Photo: VietnamPlus)

According to experts at the event, with the great progress of information technology, all businesses, especially small and medium ones, have direct access to foreign consumers.

Moreover, thanks to big data technology, enterprises can easily analyse consumer behavior in all markets accurately, take care of customers, and access targeted groups at low cost.

The success stories of business-to-business (B2B) on Alibaba’s platform or cross-border business-to-customer (B2C) on Amazon’s platform is common lessons for Vietnamese enterprises.

From these opportunities, Le Hong Ha, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Informatics Association, said that businesses need to actively exploit digital platforms, with a focus on developing websites and social networks to interact with customers, thereby approaching and developing markets.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung noted that digital transformation will help enterprises join new supply chains and replace old ones disrupted by COVID-19, as well as further diversify export markets and avoid any dependence on certain markets. 

“The key role of digital transformation in taking advantage of opportunities brought about by the EVFTA is to provide Vietnamese businesses with a digital platform to access the EU market more effectively than other forms before,” he said.

A shift to digital platforms is considered an effective means for businesses to expand export markets as Vietnam integrates more deeply into the global economy, he stated.

He affirmed that his ministry has been implementing many measures to support import and export activities, especially through the application of e-commerce, while strengthening dialogue and exchanges with the business community to remove difficulties facing production, business and import-export activities.

In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is also committed to expanding and developing more level-4 online public services, acting as a pioneer in administrative reform and e-Government implementation in service of people and businesses.

The Vietnam E-Business Index 2020 report reveals that a number of Vietnamese companies have embarked on e-commerce to support exports and imports, under both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer models, he said.

The comprehensive plan on national e-commerce development for the 2021-2025 period and the national digital transformation programme to 2025 and vision to 2030 were approved by the Prime Minister in May and June and set digital transformation as an indispensable process in modernising distribution networks, improving business competitiveness, and developing domestic and foreign markets.

The MoIT has committed to developing more online level 4 public services, to be a pioneer in administrative reform and e-Government and better serve the public and businesses, he added.

On the occasion, the ministry inaugurated a support platform for exports, at www.ECVN.com, featuring various functions and including a community of exporters and importers to help companies seek online trade opportunities.

Once the EVFTA takes effect, the platform is expected to fully support online trade promotions and link EU and Vietnamese companies together.

In particular, it will help popularise trademarks and develop geographical indications for major Vietnamese exports to the EU such as apparel, footwear, aquatic products, coffee, rice, sugar, wood and wooden furniture, fresh and processed vegetables, mobile phones, machinery, and computers.

Vietnam’s exports hit 122.8 billion USD in the first half of this year amid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, up 0.2 percent year-on-year, while imports were down 2.9 percent to 117.3 billion USD./.