HCM CITY (VNS)— To cope with the rapid development of e-commerce, the government must improve the laws on the industry and develop an infrastructure that can support it, an official told attendees at a conference in HCM City yesterday.
Tran Tuan Anh, deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, said that e-commerce was becoming more important in the context of globalisation.
More and more Vietnamese enterprises were promoting their brands and expanding their markets by using e-commerce, especially now during tough economic times.
Tran Huu Linh, head of the E-commerce and Information Technology Department under the Ministry of Information and Communication, said the country has a good platform for e-commerce to develop, with more than 120 million mobilephone subscribers and more than 34 million internet users, as well as a high growth rate of 3G subscribers.
A recent Yahoo survey found that in Viet Nam the internet was the most popular source of information, according to Linh.
"With e-commerce, local businesses can communicate with customers better, promote their products more efficiently and reduce costs and increase profits," he said.
In addition, online search tools and social networks are used to connect with customers.
Still, there are many challenges, including internet security, the lack of staff for e – commerce, online payment issues and a lack of legal policies.
Other problems include tax transactions across country borders, management of group purchases and multi-level trading. Also, discovering and penalising violators is another issue that needs attention.
In 2006, a decree was issued on e-commerce but it was too basic, and should be amended, according to Linh.
The ministry said that it would complete a legal framework by next year. The amended laws would secure the rights of all beneficiaries, encourage development of e-commerce and help improve businesses' competitiveness.
Ha Ngoc Son, deputy head of the e-commerce agency under the Department of Industry and Trade, said 97.3 per cent of companies in HCM City had internet connections, up 5.7 per cent compared to two years ago.
The companies use email and websites to promote their products and conduct trading activities.
The number of businesses using e-commerce in their businesses this year rose significantly compared to last year, he said.
However, the number of customers shopping online this year has declined this year as more online commerce websites violated regulations.
Le Minh Loan, a representative of the Hi-tech Crime Prevention Department, said his department had to deal with many violations this year. — VNS
He said that government agencies should verify and publicise information about the businesses that are eligible to conduct e-commerce.
Also, trading establishments that sell vouchers via their websites should pay a security deposit on those vouchers to ensure the rights of consumers.
Consumers who take part in e-commerce should carefully study information about providers and choose the most reputable ones.