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Government sets targets for e-commerce in 2016-2020

Released at: 07:43, 24/08/2016

Government sets targets for e-commerce in 2016-2020

Photo: Duc Anh

Decision encourages widespread use of e-commerce by individuals, businesses, and government.

by Hung Nguyen

The Prime Minister has approved a comprehensive plan for developing e-commerce in the 2016-2020 period with specific targets set, according to Decision No. 1563.

“E-commerce is one of the most important factors in helping Vietnamese enterprises boost domestic and export markets, join global value chains, and increase national competitiveness for international integration,” the Decision stated.

The goal is to not only help businesses increase market share but also bolster the efficiency of government administrative services.

“National e-commerce systems will be built and developed to better use models such as Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Business-to-Business (B2B), Government-to-Citizen (G2C), and Government-to-Business (G2B),” according to the Decision.

Targets include 30 per cent of the population buying goods and services online, with average annual spending being $350 per person; revenue from online B2C to increase to $10 billion, accounting for 5 per cent of total retail spending in the country; and online B2B to account for 30 per cent of total export turnover in 2020.

Regarding the application of e-commerce in business, the government targets 50 per cent of enterprises updating their websites frequently; 80 per cent ordering and receiving orders from e-commerce applications; all supermarkets accepting POS and non-cash payments; 70 per cent of electricity, water, telecommunications and TV providers accepting non-cash bill payments; and 50 per cent of individuals and households in major cities using non-cash payments when spending.

In terms of the application of e-commerce by State authorities, the government has targeted all public services from ministries and central authorities to be at Level 3 (see accompanying box) this year; 50 per cent of public services relating to exports to be provided at Level 4 by 2020; 30 per cent of public services relating to commercial and business activities to be at Level 4 by 2020; and all information relating to bid selection and 50 per cent of public spending contracts to be published on the national bidding system.

The majority of Vietnamese, however, remain anxious about conducting online transactions.

“Vietnam has great potential for developing non-cash services, but consumers still have concerns,” Mr. Vo Tan Long, Director of Digital Banking at VPBank, told VET.

The reason for the slow development of non-cash payments in Vietnam come from both customers and providers.

According to Mr. Long, most Vietnamese are still not accustomed to using banking services and more time is needed for this to change. Security is also a matter that makes people reluctant to use non-cash payments.

From a banking and business perspective, investment in non-cash payments is expensive, and “if we don’t invest there is no market, but if there is no market there is no reason to invest,” Mr. Long said.

Four levels of e-commerce application by government

Level 1: Websites of authorities have sufficient information on how services are provided, necessary documents, steps to take, and the duration and cost of services.

Level 2: Including all matters in Level 1, with websites allowing citizens to download documents to print or complete.

Level 3: Including all matters in Levels 1 and 2, and permitting citizens to submit documents online and conduct related transactions.

Level 4: Including all matters in Levels 1, 2, and 3, and allowing citizens to pay online, with results of services being returned online or delivered by post.

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