Workshop hears of increasing role of e-commerce in the activities of SMEs.
The internet can make a major contribution to Vietnam’s economy, Google’s Country Leader for Public Policy & Government Affairs in Emerging Markets in South and Southeast Asia, Mr. Alex Long, told a workshop on the impact of the internet and e-commerce on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) held in Hanoi on October 29. The non-information technology sector, however, accounts 75 per cent of total industry in Vietnam, he said.
Though IT only accounts for 25 per cent of total industry, revenue from e-commerce in 2015 is expected to be $4 billion, according to a Google report on the impact of the internet and e-commerce on Vietnam’s SMEs released on the same day.
Deputy President of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), Mr. Tran Kim Chung, said he was not surprised by such figures because there are an increasing number of Vietnamese enterprises involved in export activities. He suggested major enterprises utilize the advantages of the internet to develop.
The Google report also said that the internet will reduce transaction costs and present more opportunities for enterprises to participate in international markets, especially given that Vietnam is signing free trade agreements. Tax policy, however, is said to be a major obstacle for enterprises in e-commerce. The report suggested improvements in tax policy to provide favorable condition for e-commerce development.
Google also said it expects the more cooperation with Vietnamese enterprises in internet applications and e-commerce services.
According to the Vietnam E-commerce and Information Technology Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, around 39 per cent of the Vietnamese population uses the internet and e-commerce is a good opportunity for SMEs to conduct business.