E-commerce and the Internet should be used intensively as a useful tool to help local exporters and suppliers boost their performance, said experts at a recent conference in Ho Chi Minh City.
Mitch Free, Founder and CEO of MFG.com, gives a presentation on global e-commerce trend at the conference., Photo: Thoai Tran
Boosting exports by joining traditional international trade fairs and face-to-face meetings has becoming less efficient, said Vo Van Thanh, deputy general director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), at “Empower Vietnam Export” conference.
As a result, local firms should consider taking new approaches, e-commerce and the internet, as 45 percent Vietnamese firms have their own websites that can promote their products and services online, said Thanh at the VCCI-hosted conference aiming at promoting exports for local firms though e-commerce.
Vietnamese IT and telecom infrastructures grow over 20 percent year on year in the last decade. Online payment transactions are also on an upward trend, said Thanh, also the head of the HCMC branch of VCCI.
More interests are being paid for e-commerce globally as the internet is becoming an indispensable part of human beings, he added.
Thanh’s view is shared by Tran Huu Linh, Head of the E-commerce and Information Technology Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, citing that over 67 percent and 25 percent of the world’s population is a mobile phone and internet subscriber respectively.
The current respective rates in Vietnam are 176 percent and 31 percent, or 156 million and 31 million subscriptions.
However, only 64 percent and 66 percent of local firms using emails to place or receive orders. The respective rates for those using their website for the same purposes are only 10 and 11 percent.
As a result, the intensive deployment of e-commerce via the internet will help them gain the access to their global customers more easily, just within some mouse clicks.
“Spending money to travel to a trade fair, like the one in Las Vegas, US for wood-based furniture makers, unlikely brings an exporter any new orders nowadays,” Linh said.
"E-commerce can also help local firms in branding and marketing their trademarks internationally, and cutting cost and thus, boosting revenues."
Vietnam is an export-led economy heavily dependent on foreign trade with export growth 34 percent year-on-year in 2011. The rate is expected to rise 21 percent year-on-year in 2012.
So, the country must earn some $9 billion each month from now to the year-end to meet the target.
With such a target, deploying e-commerce by using some international trade portals, like MFG.com, can be considered a favorable choice, Linh said.
To meet the demand of boosting e-commerce, VCCI join hands with the US-based MFG.com to offer more insights into e-commerce.
MFG.com, an online market place for sourcing the manufacturing of made-to-order parts, textiles and packaging, stands 3rd worldwide after Amazon and eBay.
It currently has over 200,000 worldwide buyers, especially from North America and Europe.
As of April 2012, the transaction value via the website reached over $120 billion with average transaction value amounting to $100 million daily.
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