The Ministry of Industry and Trade also launched Việt Nam Export Support Platform at http://www.ECVN.com to help businesses trade on the online environment. — VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Local businesses have an opportunity to accelerate digital transformation to join new supply chains, replacing traditional ones that have been disrupted or stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic, a top official has said.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Cao Quốc Hưng made the statement at the Viet Nam Online Import Export Forum (VOIEF) 2020 held in Hà Nội on Tuesday.
Hưng said the forum, organised by the MoIT, Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Việt Nam e-Commerce Association (VECOM), took place after the European Union- Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was signed, opening new doors and creating momentum for the economy and exporters.
Per the deal, the EU will remove 85.6 per cent of tariff lines on Vietnamese goods immediately when the EVFTA takes effect, equivalent to more than 70 per cent of Việt Nam's exports to the EU.
“Along with the opportunities from the EVFTA, the trend of switching from traditional business to digital platforms is becoming increasingly popular. Digital transformation is considered an effective solution to help businesses penetrate and expand export markets, in the context that Việt Nam is increasingly integrating deeply into the world economy,” he said.
According to the Việt Nam E-Commerce Index 2020 Report, many Vietnamese enterprises have implemented e-commerce to support import-export activities under both business-to-business (B2B) as well as businesses customer (B2C) models.
This is also the time for businesses to realise the advantages of the digital economy and the urgent need for digital transformation. During the recovery phase after the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation would help Vietnamese firms, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), find a more flexible business model while cutting costs and optimising resources.
The National Digital Transformation Programme and the overall e-commerce development plan for 2021-25 have also been approved by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, which identifies digital transformation as an indispensable process of Việt Nam to promote modernisation of distribution systems and improve enterprises’ competitiveness.
“The key role in digital transformation for taking advantage of the opportunities the EVFTA offers is to provide Vietnamese businesses with a digital platform to be able to access the EU market more effectively than previous forms,” Hưng said.
The VCCI’s chairman Vũ Tiến Lộc said that “fear of loss and change” is the biggest barrier to digital transformation among businesses. At this point, there are still a lot of firms very indifferent to digital and see digital transformation as cost to be borne, not an important investment to improve their competitive advantage.
“Digital transformation success stories show that pioneers in the process were willing to change and abolish traditional business models to set up new ones as well as creating supply chains,” Lộc said.
He added that integrating digital technology in the entire process of import and export activities would be compulsory. For ministries, co-ordination operating a digital platform among agencies in the whole network of digital services to ensure import and export such as the certificate of origin (CO), customs, tax, logistics, and banking would be a vital issue.
At the forum, the Ministry of Industry and Trade also launched the Việt Nam Export Support Platform at ECVN.com, with features including the Import-Export Business Community, which helps businesses find opportunities to trade online.
When the EVFTA comes into effect, the ECVN platform will take advantage of the agreement’s opportunities to maximise the support of online trade promotion activities, connecting business transactions between the EU and Việt Nam.
It will focus on enhancing brands and developing geographical indications for Vietnamese products with large export turnover. — VNS