Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of E-Commerce and Economy Dang Hoang Hai at the Vietnam Online Business Forum. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Online Business Forum (VOBF) 2018, the second of its kind, opened in Hanoi on March 14 to the welcome of investors following the 2017 success.

The VOBF will also come to Ho Chi Minh City on March 16.

In his opening speech, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of E-Commerce and Economy Dang Hoang Hai said after two decades of the Internet’s presence in Vietnam, e-commerce has been exploding and become popular in the lives of businesses and people.

Statistics showed that e-commerce has grown over 20 percent, and particularly 25 percent in 2017 – among the world’s fastest.

Hai hoped that the forum, with the participation of prestigious exerts at home and abroad, will discuss new e-commerce trends, outstanding technologies and innovative business ideas.

The E-Business Index released by the Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM) showed that online retail and marketing, tourism and payment saw the most impressive growth. Specifically, online retail revenue increased by 35 percent while shipping services revenue grew from 62 percent to 200 percent.

The National Payment Corporation of Vietnam reported that online transactions using domestic cards in 2017 rose by nearly 50 percent in volume and 75 percent in value year-on-year. Several affiliated marketing companies posted 100-200 percent growth.

According to the VECOM, the rate of room reservations via online travel agents increased by over 30 percent annually from 20 percent in 2016, pushing the online tourism earnings by more than 50 percent.

Dang Thuy Ha, Director of Consumer Behaviour Research at Nielsen Vietnam, said nearly 4 billion people worldwide are forecast to subscribe to Internet by 2020. Trends such as Big data, virtual reality technology, sharing economy and cashless payment will be increasingly popular. Revenue from sharing economy is expected to near 300 billion USD by 2025.

There are 59 million Internet subscribers in Vietnam now while 91 percent of the population used smart phones, nearly 80 percent of them live in rural areas. The Vietnamese spend 25 hours per week on average on the Internet.

VECOM Chairman Nguyen Thanh Hung said Amazon will officially enter Vietnam this March, firstly launching a project with VECOM to support small and medium-sized enterprises.

VECOM General Secretary Tran Trong Tuyen commented that Amazon’s penetration into Vietnam will facilitate the development of eco-system, sales solutions and logistics services, as well as bring goods to consumers at more competitive prices.

Vietnam’s e-commerce market is forecast to see intense competition this year, he said.-VNA