Vietnamese Boosts Export via E-Commerce

10:13:57 AM | 1/4/2021

Given the Covid-19 pandemic contagion, the shift to digital platforms for export is no longer an option for enterprises but an essential solution for them. The Alibaba.com e-commerce platform is effectively supporting many Vietnamese exporters in this regard.

Three free trade agreements (FTAs) signed in 2020 with the European Union (EVFTA), with the ASEAN and its partners (RCEP), and the United Kingdom (UKVFTA) have opened up great opportunities for companies to adopt digital transformation to boost online export, join global supply chains and utilize advanced solutions and technologies.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that, in 2020, Vietnam's e-commerce expanded by 18% to US$11.8 billion, a high growth rate, notwithstanding being lower than the forecast. Vietnam is also the Southeast Asian country to have a double-digit e-commerce growth.

Some businesses have effectively used various e-commerce forms. Ms. Doan Thuy, Export Manager of Glovimex Co., Ltd., said, the company's e-commerce revenue grew twice as much as that of conventional commerce in the past three years, while the former required less cost than the latter which required joining fairs and exhibitions abroad to reach more customers and sign more orders.

Mr. Thai Thien Hao, Director of International Market Development of Thai Binh Company, said using databases on e-commerce platforms, the company analyzed the buying behaviors of importers around the world, enabling it to approach more than 100 customers a month and have export orders worth more than US$100,000.

Given the huge potential of online exports, the Ministry of Industry and Trade requested that the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) focus on researching and adjusting many trade promotion activities on the e-commerce environment to support enterprises to boost export growth.

The ministry cooperated with Alibaba.com to provide technical assistance for trade promotion agencies and Vietnamese SMEs on digital transformation. According to a ministry official, Alibaba.com is one of the most reputable global e-commerce platforms with more than 260 million buyers in 190 countries and territories. This is a potential market for Vietnamese businesses to expand their business and sell their products to customers around the world. Therefore, the cooperation with major partners such as Alibaba.com to launch comprehensive solutions on trade promotion and export support is providing growth opportunities for Vietnamese businesses in foreign markets.

This partnership initiative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Alibaba.com will support Vietnamese SMEs in three main aspects: Faster participation in e-commerce platforms, especially Alibaba.com to establish global reach; access to tailored solutions to drive business growth; and access to tailored services for SMEs to boost e-commerce capabilities.

Mr. Vu Ba Phu, Director of Vietrade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that the cooperation program with Alibaba includes a series of training events for businesses to directly consult and connect businesses to the service network specifically tailored for the program. Hence, this activity obtained encouraging results with more than 1,000 enterprises registering for training, more than 300 enterprises participating in export consultancy and e-commerce capacity improvement and more than 50 potential enterprises will be successfully listed, mainly selling agricultural products, aquatic products, wooden products and packaged processed foods.

Mr. Zhang Kuo, General Manager of Alibaba.com emphasized the cooperation with partners in Vietnam and around the world is aimed to achieve the gross merchandise value (GMV) of more than US$100 billion by 2024. Alibaba.com is expected to support more than 10 million SMEs around the world and more than 10,000 Vietnamese suppliers who do B2B trade on Alibaba.com.

Through research, Alibaba.com found that strong points of Vietnamese sellers are their improved manufacturing capacity in terms of quality and output, diversified product portfolio, competitive prices and export-oriented focus. "Some Vietnamese industries posted impressive growth, including food, beverage, housing, gardening and construction," he said.

Pledging to support 10,000 Vietnamese SMEs in five years and accelerate digital transformation, in 2021, Alibaba.com will work closely with local authorities to provide suitable and effective online services and solutions. Currently, the two sides have organized training courses for SMEs in five provinces and cities namely Hanoi, Lao Cai, Da Nang, Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City, and will expand those activities to Vung Tau, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Son La, Quy Nhon and Buon Me Thuot.

In addition, Mr. Zhang Kuo affirmed that Alibaba.com will continuously build partnerships with associations, business partners and banks with the aim of helping Vietnamese SMEs improve their technical capacity, operational skills, customer management and order fulfillment.

Alibaba experts also said that businesses should find specific instructions and rules set by international e-commerce platforms and understand roles of sellers and buyers to avoid risks.

By Huong Ly, Vietnam Business Forum