Mr Pham Viet Duc, Director of Information Technology Application Center with the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Viettrade), chatted with VET's Hoai An about the website BuyVietnam.com.vn.
Can you share with us some information about the operation of BuyVietnam.com.vn?
Based on the initiative of ASEAN and ASEAN Japan Centre (AJC), a website called buyasean.jp has been established in order to boost cooperation between Japan and other ASEAN countries and reduce the cost of organising commercial meetings and seminars. Additionally, in each meeting and seminar, only a few enterprises are able to join. 90 per cent of operational fees are from Japan while the rest is raised equally from ten ASEAN countries to create activities to promote commercial trade between ASEAN and Japan. In the first phase of this project, only developing countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are allowed to operate projects because those countries have developed e- commerce systems and strong supporting resources. As a result, if they started early, we could not follow them in the future. Among the countries in this first phase, Vietnam is leading in terms of participants and the number of uploaded products. Each “BUY” is managed by a trade promotion agency to choose appropriate enterprises.
How does this project support domestic enterprises?
Currently, domestic enterprises do not have to pay any fees to join while getting a great opportunity to find and cooperate with foreign partners. The Japanese and Vietnamese governments are responsible for the costs of maintaining the infrastructure, its security and promotion. This project focuses on small and medium enterprises, which do not have enough resources to promote their products broadly while e-commerce is known as the fastest way to expand image to other countries. We are committed to the ideal that enterprises do not have to pay membership fees and we will support domestic companies in verifying partners, consultation on the standard of orders and payment methods.
Are there any difficulties or limitations when this project is operated in Vietnam?
Domestic enterprises are still weak in language while working with international partners requires good understanding. Additionally, a number of companies still fear price competition when they let other competitors know their products’ prices so the provided not enough information. The system for communication with customers and partners such as email was not very professional. For example, amongst a lot of meetings and seminars organised by Viettrade relating to cooperation with Japan which were sent to the domestic business community, only a few bits of feedback were received. Finally, there is an imbalance of participants between big cites and other provinces. Among 530 participants, about 90 per cent of enterprises are from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, of which 40 per cent are from Hanoi and 60 per cent in Ho Chi Minh City while only 10 per cent belong to other provinces.
What do you predict for the development of BuyVietnam over the next three years?
After joining VIETEXPO on April 15, BuyVietnam will change its interface to provide more supporting information for businesses as well as introducing promotional programs by Viettrade and other concerned agencies to help domestic enterprises seek business opportunities with special priorities. Investment and business to consumer categories will also be investigated in the next 3 years. We hope the website will become the national gate of trade promotion with 15,000-20,000 participants.