Promoting e-commerce development

Tuesday, 2019-06-04 16:13:47
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Hanoi has set the target of online retail sales accounting for 9% of the total revenue from retail sales and services in the city in 2019. (Illustrative image)
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NDO – In 2019, Hanoi has set the target of online retail sales accounting for 9% of the total revenue from retail sales and services in the city, displaying the determination to develop the e-commerce sector and form the digital economy of the city. But along with the pace of development, the city also needs mechanisms and solutions to manage the modern business systems more closely.

E-commerce business activities over the past years in Vietnam have developed strongly in both quantity and scale. According to statistics, the total revenue of e-commerce companies in Vietnam in 2018 reached US$2.26 billion, an increase of nearly 30% compared to 2017. With that result, Vietnam has been ranked sixth of the top 10 largest e-commerce markets in the world, behind only China, the US, the UK, Japan and Germany. I2019, the growth rate of e-commerce in Vietnam is forecasted to reach 35% compared to 2018.

In 63 provinces and cities, Hanoi is considered one of the most dynamic e-commerce development markets. Over the years, Hanoi has always ranked second or more compared to the whole country in the E-Business Index (EBI). Seizing this development trend, the city has continued to set e-commerce development targets for 2019. Specifically, online retail sales will account for 9% of the total revenue from retail sales and services in the city (1% higher than 2018). At the same time, the percentage of Hanoi people participating in online shopping will increase to 68% of internet users in the city.

For businesses, 85% of modern distribution and retail facilities; electricity, water, telecommunication service providers and 25% of petroleum stores accept non-cash payment when buying and selling goods and services. 95% of businesses have websites or applications that provide business information, production and business operations. 80% of the chain of links to produce and supply safe agricultural products and participate in the Electronic Information System using QR codes for traceability. The number of registered members of the e-commerce market to consume safe agricultural products, produced by the chain of Hanoi City (at www.chonhaminh.gov.vn) has reached 10,000.

Economic experts evaluated that the plan is completely feasible because Hanoi has a developed technology base, a high educational level and a large number of young people, who are interested in online purchasing and payment trends. However, the management mechanism has not kept pace with the rapid development and new forms within the e-commerce sector. For example, on tax matters, unlike traditional business forms, which often have specific shops and addresses, transactions via e-commerce take place on a network environment; it is difficult to verify the information of a seller. In Vietnam, paper invoices are still mainly used, with little use of electronic invoices, so the tax control in this area is difficult.

According to representatives of the Hanoi Market Management Department, transactions and payments on the internet are all virtual, there is no clear business location, which cannot be checked immediately. Not to mention, most transactions in this form (if they are counterfeit goods), there are no specific invoices and vouchers, so the detection, management and handling are more and more difficult. In addition, Hanoi's logistics infrastructure has not met the demands of commercial activities in general and e-commerce in particular. For example, currently the main means of transportation are motorbikes, though improved by attaching a rear container yet the capacity is still very limited. Thus, the capacity and delivery efficiency are low. Besides, customers mainly choose the form of delivery with cash-in-hand payments, not encouraging non-cash payment.

In order to motivate e-commerce develop and overcome current limitations, Hanoi continues to encourage people to choose and use online shopping, non-cash payments. Specifically, encouraging businesses and units to continue promoting online services, such as hotel and tour booking; book, buy air tickets, trains, call taxis; online education; and online medical consultation. In which, it is necessary to focus on QR code applications not only in traceability of goods, but also on online payment, online promotion, electronic tax declaration; support fast connection between producers, sellers and buyers.

Vice Chairman of Hanoi municipal People's Committee Nguyen Doan Toan stressed, Hanoi will focus on developing electronic logistics to serve e-commerce activities; building and improving the capacity of transport services, logistics infrastructure, freight forwarding in Hanoi with other regions. In addition, the city will continue to improve mechanisms and policies to manage this activity, organize the struggle, prevention and control of crime in the field of e-commerce as well as promptly rectify the violations to ensure consumer protection.