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Jun 13, 2023 / 14:52

Vietnam’s e-commerce exports reach US$3.5 billion

MSMEs in Vietnam are poised to reap significant benefits from the rapid growth of the e-commerce sector.

Vietnamese B2C e-commerce exports grew 7% last year to $3.5 billion. This figure is expected to increase almost fourfold to $13 billion by 2027, according to Access Partnership, a consulting firm based in the United Kingdom.

 Vietnam's e-commerce exports are set to reach $13 billion by 2027. Photo: Quynh Lien/The Hanoi Times

By 2022, this figure accounted for about 1% of Vietnam's total exports, according to the report, which relies on data from Vietnam's customs authorities and reputable organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the World Bank.

Access Partnership projects that Vietnam's e-commerce export revenue could make an annual growth rate of 9%, based on current export trends and the rate at which businesses adopt e-commerce. This projection represents a "business as usual" scenario.

However, Access Partnership predicts sales could reach $13 billion in a more optimistic scenario by 2027. To achieve this higher figure, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) would need to accelerate their adoption of e-commerce for exporting products and services from current levels, the report said.

"MSMEs in Vietnam are well positioned to benefit significantly from the rapid growth of e-commerce," it said.

The global acceleration in the use of e-commerce, driven mainly by the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, also presents an opportunity for Vietnam to tap into demand in foreign markets with a policy environment conducive to e-commerce exports.

Access Partnership's findings show that 95% of MSMEs surveyed expect annual B2C export growth of at least 10% through e-commerce over the next five years.

At the Cross-Border E-commerce Conference held by Vietnam's Department of E-Commerce and Digital Economy (iDEA) and Amazon Global Selling on June 9, iDEA Deputy Director Lai Viet Anh said that cross-border e-commerce is in line with the Government's policy to develop the digital economy and has great potential.

He said Vietnam's sales are expected to exceed tens of billions of dollars within the next four years. However, to realize this potential, Vietnamese businesses must overcome four main obstacles: import market regulations, competitiveness, costs (such as marketing and logistics), and market information.

To help businesses overcome these barriers, the Government has implemented several supportive policies, including cost-sharing initiatives for booth opening and maintenance under Government Decree 80, stimulating cross-border e-commerce demand through Decree 645, and a project to train 5,000 businesses in cross-border e-commerce knowledge and skills to participate in global distribution platforms.

Despite the positive growth of e-commerce exports, Vietnamese companies say they require additional assistance, as suggested by Access Partnership. The consultancy suggests Vietnam look at other countries' government support programs, such as China's Comprehensive Pilot Zone (CPZ) for cross-border e-commerce.

Assessing the B2C export situation in the first five months of the year, Gijae Seong, Amazon Head of Global Selling Vietnam, mentioned that Vietnamese sellers on Amazon had achieved positive sales growth. He stressed that Vietnam has the highest export growth rate on Amazon in the world, which has garnered the corporation's attention.

He said that Vietnam's cross-border export model is unique, and not many countries have developed it as much because of its fast growth of new vendors, adding that Vietnam has significant strength and capacity.

In 2022, the number of Vietnamese sellers on Amazon was in the thousands, an 80% increase over 2021. This contributed to the sale of more than 10 million "Made in Vietnam" products abroad and a 45% increase in export value.

Seong added that there are still opportunities in cross-border e-commerce, even though global economic challenges will persist in 2023. To capitalize on these opportunities, he recommends businesses focus on three aspects: using digital tools to understand customer preferences, innovating products to meet those needs, and building brands to add value.