The industry and trade sector of Hau Giang province has accelerated e-commerce application in product promotion, advertising and consumption in a bid to support businesses to expand and diversify markets and selling channels; leverage speedier production and business restoration in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, said Mr. Huynh Thanh Phong, Director of Hau Giang Department of Industry and Trade, in an interview to this effect granted to Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter.
What do you think about the development and contributions of industry and service sectors of Hau Giang province in the past time?
Since Hau Giang province was re-established in January 2004, the industry and trade sector of Hau Giang province has made transformational progress and increasingly asserted its important role in local socioeconomic development.
In 2021, the province’s industrial production value reached VND41,785.06 billion (nearly US$1.8 billion), an increase of nearly 12 times over 2004. Its total retail sales of consumer goods and services and revenue of accommodation, catering and travel services climbed to VND42,349.21 billion (over US$1.8 billion), up 47 times over 2004.
Currently, the province has 1,865 enterprises, including 235 industrial enterprises; and 39,515 commercial and service units. Beside traditional markets, many trade centers and supermarkets have been built to meet consumer needs.
Hau Giang province has two industrial parks and seven industrial complexes, housing 114 projects with VND106,531 billion from domestic investors and US$3,802.5 million from foreign investors.
Given COVID-19 pandemic impacts, what solutions did the sector take to support local enterprises to deal with emerging difficulties? How was trade promotion focused?
Supporting companies to deal with their difficulties, the province continued to facilitate distribution of input materials for manufacturing; simplify procedures and accelerate policy enforcement to reduce burdens on them. The province also increased support for them to restore their production and export and enhance their competitiveness.
To speed up trade promotion, the Department of Industry and Trade assisted local enterprises to take part in fairs, exhibitions and trade connections; build and develop product brands; and introduce and advertise OCOP products for them to find expansion opportunities to replace traditional markets.
In particular, the department diversified business methods by bringing goods to the supermarket system (125 tons a month) and setting up OCOP selling points (3 tons a month) in Can Tho, Kien Giang, Hanoi and other localities. The agency also worked with supermarkets and traders to sign offtake contracts with farmers. Many products are present in major supermarket chains in the country such as pineapple, seedless lemon, bronze featherback and pomelo.
For supply and demand matching, the department instructed and supported businesses to register for sales on e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Lazada, Voso and Postmart to boost sales. To date, 32 companies are selling 76 items on Voso.vn, earning revenue of VND429,159,000; and 47 companies are selling 89 products on Postmart.vn, earning revenue of VND80,000,000. These have helped improve their professionalism; encouraged consumers to approach online shopping; reduced time and costs; facilitated digital transformation of the sector and of the country in general.
How have "digitization", "online promotion" and e-commerce been developed? To add new "impulses" and upgrade agricultural value chains, what solutions will the sector focus on in the coming time?
Since 2021, the Department of Industry and Trade has advised the Provincial People's Committee to launch the Trade Promotion Program in 2022, Hau Giang Trade Promotion Program for 2021-2025, and Hau Giang E-commerce Development Plan in 2021-2025.
To boost information technology application to trade promotion, the department also coordinated with the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency (IDEA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) to carry out the “smart sales solution application for retail stores” project worth VND225.52 million. The project supports 20 smart sales software to reach retail stores in Hau Giang province.
In the coming time, the department will accelerate information technology application and digital transformation to raise the operational quality and efficiency of trade promotion. In particular, the department proposed the Provincial People's Committee organize a training course on “E-commerce insights for State officials in Hau Giang province” and an e-commerce training course for trade companies in Hau Giang province. It also supported building 10 e-commerce websites for businesses, cooperatives and business households.
Hau Giang aims to provide useful information to agricultural producers via e-commerce and digital platforms, including market information, demand and production capacity forecast, weather information, season, breeds and fertilizers. The province will choose well-reputed, high-quality, reasonably priced products, materials and tools for agricultural production for agricultural producers.
Furthermore, the department will strengthen support for companies to join e-commerce platforms like Shopee, Lazada, Voso and Postmart to boost consumption.
As the leader of the industry and trade sector of the province, do you have any message for businesses and investors at the Hau Giang Investment Promotion Conference 2022?
Hau Giang province has a lot of potential strengths, especially in agriculture, industry, urbanization and tourism. In the coming time, the province will give priority to projects in approved industrial zones; and develop logistics service providers, large trade centers, and traditional markets to sharpen competitive advantages and catch up with investment shifts in the Mekong Delta.
With the slogan "Enterprises come, Hau Giang is happy", the provincial government and agencies, including the Department of Industry and Trade, are committed to creating conditions for investors to access key projects, study investment incentive policies, and contribute to local socioeconomic development.
Thank you very much!
Source: Vietnam Business Forum