July, 30 2010 09:58:47

Exporters lack web-based information on markets

HCM CITY — Most Vietnamese businesses, particularly exporters, lack market information due to a shortage of information portals and websites and a limited e-commerce application.

Speaking at a seminar yesterday in HCM City, Tran Vinh Nhung, deputy director of HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, said city businesses were in dire need of market information.

The city has more than 16,000 exporters and importers, 600 of which have reached export-import turnover of more than US$10 million each.

Exporters need information about prices, foreign laws, means of transactions and payment and trade barriers.

Many exporters and local businesses had not taken full advantage of signed foreign trade agreements or bilateral or multilateral agreements, Nhung said, adding that tax incentives were part of these agreements.

Moreover, some businesses lack information about their foreign rivals in the domestic market.

In HCM City, 70.4 per cent of enterprises apply e-commerce into business, but only 30.6 per cent of these use e-commerce for contracts and trade.

Enterprises still do not use the internet effectively, largely because they are not aware of its business uses.

Nhung said to deal with market-information shortage, State agencies and non-government organisations such as Eurocham and the American Chamber of Commerce should provide information to businesses to help them reach partnerships with other countries.

In addition, local authorities should offer training and guidelines on skills on accessing online export information.

Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the Viet Nam Seafood Exporters and Producers Association, said many businesses did not use IT to input data.

Some companies lacked capital to invest in posting their information online or using the internet.

Hoe said many business information portals and websites often included outdated statistics, poor language, and inaccurate and unreliable information.

At the seminar, Matthias Duehn, executive director of Eurocham, spoke about the European Trade Information Centre and its website www.eticvietnam.org.

The centre is an accessible source of information about EU market access and trade-related information in southern Viet Nam.

On the website, there is practical advice on EU market entry, trade and information portals, statistics databases, contact info for trade partners in the EU and information and contact info for Vietnamese export promotion.

Ministry officials offer other online information portals including www.ttnn.vn, and www.vnex.com.vn , aiming to update information in the domestic as well as foreign market. — VNS

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