E-commerce to give firms more export chances: workshop hinh anh 1E-commerce will give businesses more opportunities to boost export, an official has said (Photo: mmbiztoday.com)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam has been recording strong development in e-commerce, through which businesses will have more chances to promote export, an official said at a workshop in Hanoi on October 18.

Dang Hoang Hai, Director of the E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency (IDEA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said Vietnam is said to be one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia. Besides, a big population of over 90 million with high percentages of young people and internet users is a basis for the country’s e-commerce market to keep expanding in the future.

He cited his agency’s statistics as showing that the growth rate of business-to-consumer (B2C) retail sales via e-commerce soared by 30 percent in 2018. With such a continually high growth rate since 2015, Vietnam is confident that the B2C retail e-commerce sales will reach the target of 10 billion USD in 2020.

The legal framework on e-commerce is now relatively complete, Hai said, adding that with the mushrooming of e-commerce platforms and accompanied services, e-commerce is becoming a useful tool for businesses to capitalise on chances to make breakthroughs in development, giving them more opportunities to boost export.

However, the official also admitted that e-commerce requires the synchronous development of infrastructure as well as businesses and people’s awareness. Meanwhile, most of Vietnamese firms now are small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with limited financial capacity and human resources.

Giving participants an overview of e-commerce in Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, a specialist from IDEA, said e-commerce transactions have been on the rise. 

There were nearly 40 million people shopping online in the country in 2018. Although revenue in this sector was rather big, it accounted for only 4.2 percent of the total retail sales of goods and services last year.

She also pointed to an increase in transactions via mobile phones, noting that about 92 percent of internet users have used mobile phones to access the internet, and 81 percent of the online shoppers have placed orders via mobile phones.

However, Trang said, only 44 percent of all businesses have used e-commerce, and 13 percent of them have created mobile apps.

She said like e-commerce, export has been playing an increasingly important role in Vietnam’s economy. 

More than 32 percent of Vietnamese SMEs have set up business relations with foreign partners via online channels, and business-to-business e-commerce platforms will help local exporters to directly access their clients and markets around the world in a swift and economical manner, she added./.