It is advisable for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to utilise information technology such as e-commerce to increase their competitiveness in the global economic environment.

Businesses should also prepare measures to grab opportunities and cope with challenges posed by new generation free trade agreements (FTAs), trade experts recommended at a workshop on May 20 in the northern province of Hai Phong.

Participants heard about the current situation and development trend of e-commerce in Asia and Vietnam in particular.

They were told that Vietnam could sign a number of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements with foreign partners in 2015, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the trade pacts between Vietnam and EU; Vietnam and the Republic Korea; Vietnam and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia .

The low tariff regulated in the deals is expected to help the country to expand trade relations with overseas partners.

Nguyen Van Thoan, a representative from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said sales from e-commerce transactions between businesses and customers in Vietnam topped 2.97 billion USD in 2014.

E-commerce is expected to become an important tool to develop SMEs since it helps connect local businesses with partners and customers around-the-clock and around the world, while cutting marketing costs.

To grab this opportunity, businesses should build and develop their own online brand names.

According to Nguyen Van Hoc, Director of the southern branch of PA, one of Vietnam’s leading domain registration and web hosting companies, the selection of the domain name is the first step to build an online brand name successfully.-VNA