Cross-border e-commerce towards green and sustainable development

July 04, 2024 - 08:06
Trần Văn Trọng, General Secretary of the Việt Nam E-Commerce Association (VECOM), told Việt Nam News about the green and sustainable cross-border commercial development trend and how to help businesses build brands in the digital environment.
Trần Văn Trọng, General Secretary of the Việt Nam E-Commerce Association (VECOM). — VNS Photo Lê Vy

In the context that exports are an important growth driver of the Vietnamese economy, taking advantage of digital technology and cross-border e-commerce to exploit global export potential is being increasingly recognised by the Government and the business community.

Trần Văn Trọng, General Secretary of the Việt Nam E-Commerce Association (VECOM), told Việt Nam News about the green and sustainable cross-border commercial development trends and how businesses can be helped to build brands in the digital environment.

What should be done to develop a green and sustainable cross-border e-commerce?

Firstly, from the perspective of the Việt Nam E-commerce Association, we are focusing on encouraging e-commerce in the direction of sustainable e-commerce development. To do that, we have three main pillars.

The first is that we have organised activities and programmes to help businesses in sixty-one provinces and cities, except Hà Nội and HCM City, to have the opportunities to access e-commerce in general and cross-border e-commerce.

According to many statistics of the association, as well as domestic and foreign statistics, currently seventy per cent of Việt Nam's commercial market size is concentrated in Hà Nội and HCM City, meanwhile, the remaining 61 provinces and cities account for only 30 per cent.

In that 30 per cent, I see that the consumer community of 61 provinces and cities is very large, has many products and the need for trade is great. This is where the trade potential we need to promote is created. That is the first pillar, the pillar of shrinking sales, helping businesses in provinces and cities have the opportunity to access e-commerce.

The second pillar that we have been promoting is the human resources pillar.

We have co-operated closely with e-commerce training facilities throughout the country. Recently, we have focused on the universities then expanding to vocational colleges.

We have many training activities locally, but the participants are mainly household producers, farmers and middle-aged people, so they are rarely close to technology.

Meanwhile, students are those who have received formal training under the guidance of the business community and educators.

However, they have not had many opportunities to practice or have products to sell. On the other hand, businesses have many products to sell but may not know how to sell them effectively.

By combining these two groups, we create a connection point that helps businesses have more opportunities to introduce their products into the online marketplace, particularly in terms of exports.

For the trained group, they will have more opportunities to gain practical experience. This is where talents are nurtured and also opportunities for Vietnamese start-ups originate.

What we are seeing today is that domestic trade will gradually face the situation of causing many negative impacts that are not good for the environment. Therefore, the third pillar is green e-commerce associated with environmental protection.

Plastic waste created from e-commerce is very large. If we don't have any direction, then at a certain threshold, the whole community will be surprised of the non-degradable plastic waste created by e-commerce to the environment.

And when that happens, they will have a tendency to limit e-commerce and if we restrict e-commerce, it is almost as if we are going against the market trend.

So, consumers will have difficulties in shopping, while businesses are also at a disadvantage in having difficulty in approaching advanced commerce.

What is the association doing to support businesses in exporting products and building their brands?

To support businesses to sell products into foreign markets, as well as protect their brand on the internet, companies need two main groups for support.

The first group is the State management agencies which develop appropriate mechanisms to help businesses have more opportunities, more advantages and even support resources so that they can access foreign environment to sell online along with branding.

The second group is the business community. We also need to have popular communication and training activities so that businesses themselves can see the benefits, as well as anticipate the problems, when participating in the cross-border environment and know how to protect the brand.

At the same time, there needs to be an opportunity to help them easily access a highly-skilled workforce. So that they not only gain awareness but also have access to manpower and even support them in resource deployment, thus facilitating their advancement in domestic and online export trade promotion.

Can you tell us about the newly-established Việt Nam Export Support Alliance (VESA)?

Our main goal is to promote the domestic e-commerce sector in general and have long-term orientation to support businesses to participate in the cross-border e-commerce export markets, so we have established an alliance to support online export businesses – the Việt Nam Export Support Alliance (VESA).

Through the alliance, we bring together businesses that provide digital platforms, logistics, order fulfillment, payment, online marketing and other related services, to help businesses participate in the online export market and businesses that are interested in learning and finding help from the alliance.

Through this alliance, we will create an ecosystem that helps businesses from the most basic first step to the final operation and completing an order when they want to export online. — VNS