E-commerce critical for global integration
Vietnamese companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, need to use e-commerce more to strengthen their competitiveness in foreign trade, Le Dang Doanh, an economist and former member of the Government Advisory Council, has said.
Speaking at the 4th annual Supplier Day event organised in HCM City on Tuesday by leading global wholesale online platform Alibaba.com, he said e-commerce had become more important with the Vietnamese economy's regional and global integration.
This year Viet Nam was likely to conclude a series of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements.
Many free trade agreements would possibly be signed this year – like the Trans Pacific Partnership, EU-Viet Nam FTA, South Korea-Viet Nam FTA, Viet Nam – European Free Trade Association FTA, and Viet Nam-Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union.
The low tax rates as part of these FTAs would expand Viet Nam's foreign trade.
The Viet Nam Textile and Garment Association expected the TPP to yield an additional US$30 billion in textile exports by 2020 and $55 billion by 2030.
"Domestic businesses at that time will become global businesses with easy access to partners around the world".
E-commerce would be a key in helping businesses reduce marketing expenses, eliminating distances and do 24/24 online transactions with customers in various forms like B2B, B2C, and B2E.
Timothy Leung, head of global business development at Alibaba.com - one of the B2B websites with the greatest participation by Vietnamese exporters – said, "We see significant growth in the number of registered members from Viet Nam (129 per cent) providing valuable products to buyers in different countries including the US, India, and China."
Experts said e-commerce has become more important when Viet Nam's economy has integrated deeply into the regional and the world/ Photo Courtesy of OSB Co. — VNS Photo Hoang Nhn Quynh Hoa
On average, 6,600 new members registered per month, he said.
Alibaba.com is an English-language global wholesale platform with registered users in over 240 countries and regions and thousands of product categories in more than 40 industries.
Leung added that in the near future new tools such as AliSourcePro to help suppliers identify quality buyers and Alibaba Biz Circle tool for Alibaba.com members to exchange ideas and enable suppliers and buyers to better understand each other to explore new business opportunities would be launched.
Doanh said e-commerce revenues in Viet Nam were set to hit $1.3 billion this year. But if e-commerce was to develop, Vietnamese consumers needed to change their habit of using cash for payment.
Tran Dinh Toan, deputy director of OSB Co., said e-commerce was a useful tool for businesses to explore and expand markets and take advantage of untapped opportunities for global trade in the context of a fast-changing global economy.
As of the end of last year Viet Nam was seventh in Asia in terms of internet growth and 18th in the world.
According to the Internet World Stats, by June last year 43.9 per cent of the country's population, or 41 million people, had access to the internet.
Supplier Day brought together over 300 businesses and experts who discussed how to grow their businesses globally.