HCM CITY — Vietnamese firms should make greater use of information technology to become more efficient and competitive in the context of global integration, delegates told a conference on promoting exports through e-commerce held in HCM City on Tuesday.
E-commerce was becoming an increasingly important part of IT use and an indispensable business tool, said Tran Huu Linh, general director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Viet Nam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency.
"When a firm wants to look for a partner or product, the first search tool it thinks of is the internet, therefore e-commerce must be a part of each company's business strategy," he said.
Besides traditional methods like taking part in trade fairs and exhibitions and displaying goods at showrooms, businesses should also pay more attention to e-commerce to promote their image and products more effectively.
"With 156 million mobile phone subscribers, more than 30 million internet users, and the rapid growth in 3G subscriptions, Viet Nam has a good foundation for e-commerce to develop," he said.
"But compared to the others, e-commerce helps enterprises contact customers more easily and quickly and at lower cost," he pointed out.
Mitch Free, founder and CEO of MFG.com, a leading global online market place for sourcing made-to-order parts, textiles and packaging, said Viet Nam was known for having companies that could make products meeting US and EU standards at reasonable prices. "Many buyers in the west want to do business with Vietnamese companies but the challenge is they do not understand how to find the right companies," he said.
The internet was a very effective tool for sourcing something, he said.
If businesses did not embrace the internet or e-commerce, they would lag behind the global economy, he warned.
Vo Tan Thanh, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in HCM City, said more and more Vietnamese companies were becoming aware of the importance of e-commerce, with 45 per cent having their own websites to promote their products.
The Government too has striven to develop e-commerce, he added.
Linh said the Ministry of Industry and Trade would this year draft new regulations for e-commerce development and measures to support companies using e-commerce.
Businesses should take advantage of this opportunity and use IT in their business strategies, he added.
Nguyen Van Hung, managing director of MFG.com in Viet Nam, said his company would assist 100 Vietnamese manufacturing firms in establishing a specific page for the manufacturing sector.
"This meant to create a strong community that can connect with overseas markets and enable buyers to approach suppliers directly to cut intermediate costs," he added.
The conference was organised by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's branch in HCM City and MFG.com in HCM City. — VNS