Greater efforts needed to ensure fair competition in e-commerce hinh anh 1

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung speaks at the workshop (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) -
The building of a decree to amend and supplement Decree No. 52/2013/ND-CP is to complete the legal framework for e-commerce, especially amid its fast growth which contributes to the development of the digital economy and the country’s digital transformation.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung made the remark during a workshop to garner opinions on a revised decree to amend and supplement the government’s Decree No.52/2013/ND-CP on e-commerce held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) in Hanoi on November 3.

E-commerce has made great progress

According to the MoIT, Decree No. 52/2013/ND-CP on e-commerce directly regulates business activities on online platforms.

After seven-year of implementation, in addition to the development of digital technologies, e-commerce in Vietnam has made outstanding progress which helped create a new method for trade and the digital economy at large.

Vietnam is now home to more than 59.4 million internet users, making up 66 percent of the population and surpassing the world’s average of 60 percent. Of the figure, about 44.8 million people shop online at least once a year.

Furthermore, e-commerce retail enjoyed a swift growth to earn 10.8 billion USD this year from just 2.2 billion USD in 2013, contributing 4.9 percent to the national retail sales and consumer services.

At present, e-commerce activities come in various shapes and forms, not only accessible through computers, but also other modern handheld devices such as mobile phones and tablets. They are taking place in both e-commerce websites and mobile apps.

As the COVID-19 pandemic deals a major blow to the global economy and people’s lives, e-commerce demonstrates its pre-eminence in maintaining the operation of the supply chains and retail sector.

That legal framework on e-commerce was quickly devised in an early manner is attributable to such achievements, Hung said.

Of particular note, Decree No. 52/ND-CP had a role to play in guiding and creating a legal corridor for e-commerce activities in Vietnam over the recent past, he added.

New e-commerce platforms have been on the rise, so has the number of violations, particularly fake and illegal products and those involving in intellectual property infringements.

The amendment and supplement to Decree No. 52/2013/ND-CP, as a result, is necessary, Hung affirmed.

Working towards fair competition

In 2019 alone, the market surveillance force detected 2,213 cases of violations of e-commerce regulations out of a total of 2,403 cases inspected, equivalent to 92 percent, an alarming rate.

Sellers’ responsibility for transparency is of great significance, said Nguyen Ky Minh, Deputy Chief of Office of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance.

However, preventing fake products sold online will face numerous difficulties if there are no measures to trace products’ origin, he added.

The amendment and supplement to Decree No. 52/2013/ND-CP must create optimal conditions for businesses so that they can help the sector make strides, heard the workshop.

It also needs to aim at building a fair competition in e-commerce.

In early October, the Government approved Resolution No.144/NQ-CP on drafting a decree to amend and supplement Decree No. 52/2013/ND-CP.

Vietnam’s e-commerce market is forecast to climb 20 percent in the last quarter of this year to reach 12 billion USD by the year end if the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control.

This is the forecast by the MoIT in a recent report on Vietnam’s e-commerce market against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the early stages of the pandemic (from February to April), 57 percent of surveyed e-commerce businesses reported their revenue growth was below 30 percent compared to the same period of 2019 with some even seeing negative growth, the report said./.