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“The e-commerce popularity of Vietnam will reach the advance level compared to other ASEAN countries’ in 2015 in accordance with the country’s e-commerce development plan,” said Lai Viet Anh, head of the Legislature Division of the E-commerce and Information Technology Department.
Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade show 60 per cent of large companies approached e-commerce in the period of 2006 and 2010, of which 70 per cent of them have website, 95 per cent receive online orders and 96 per cent use email regularly for their business activities.
Up to 85 per cent of small and medium enterprises allow their customers to place order online and 80 per cent of them consider email as equipment for business activities.
In 2010, the number of large businesses using email to contact to their partners increased to 95 per cent.
E-commerce is also getting popular with consumers, with 49 per cent of households being Internet subscribers and 18 per cent accessing Internet to make online purchases.
Many online public services were set up last year, with 38 provinces offering 748 third-level online services. Up to 15,000 people voted for 50 e-commerce websites in online exchanges between businesses and consumers.
Analysts said Vietnam’s e-commerce was growing strongly, attracting some large commercial groups around the world. US-based online retailer eBay has cooperated with software developer Peacesoft since it bought 20 per cent stake in the Vietnamese firm.
News website VnExpress cited Peacesoft General Director Nguyen Hoa Binh as saying that the investment will help his company develop Vietnam’s e-commerce industry. The value of the stake was not disclosed.
According to Peacesoft, the e-commerce trade value of Vietnam in a year is now equal to just one day in China.
Nearly 27 million Internet users in Vietnam encouraged eBay to expect that the Southeast country’s e-commerce will grow five folds in the next four years.
A blog entry on Forbes said how eBay fares with its new venture in Vietnam could foretell the future of Vietnam’s potential as “the next frontier in Asia for tech investment.”
However, Vietnam’s e-commerce is still grappling with many challenges including local knowledge about the service.
“Locals remain unfamiliar with online shopping and payment. Many companies, meanwhile, designed their websites as a place for product showcase only,” said Nguyen Hoa Binh, general director of software developer Hoa Binh.
Despite difficulties, the Ministry of Industry and Trade remains confident that e-commerce will become widespread in Vietnam, with all businesses using email for business purposes, 80 per cent offering e-commerce website and 70 per cent providing online purchase.
Anh from the E-commerce and Information Technology Department said the government should set up regulations and detailed plans on training human resource for e-commerce.
“Local businesses should cooperate with the government to develop the e-commerce. The Ministry of Industry and Trade should set up e-commerce training courses in every province nationwide,” said Tran Vinh Nhung, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade.