Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City continue to lead Vietnam e-business index 2021 (EBI 2021), according to the latest report released on April 20 by the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM) in Hanoi.

 Source: the VECOM. Chart: Phi Nhat

E-commerce gap

Ho Chi Minh City leads the e-commerce index with a total score of 67.6 points, followed by Hanoi with a total score of 55.7 points, the central city of Danang with 19.04 points, the southern province of Binh Duong with 14.76 points and the southern province of Dong Nai with 11.14 points. 

The e-commerce gap between two biggest cities (Hanoi and HCM City) and other provinces remained unchanged. The northern port city of Haiphong was relagated from the third position to the sixth in the e-commerce index this year. 

The Vietnam E-business Index (EBI) in 2021 was based on three key criteria: human resources and infrastructure in information technology, e-commerce transactions between enterprises and consumers, and among businesses.

According to the VECOM, the government-to-business transactions criteria was removed from the EBI because the e-government gap between localities is narrowed. Since 2020, e-government has strongly developed in provinces/cities, many online public services related to e-commerce have been launched at local level.

The report on EBI from 2016 up to now showed that there is a huge disparity in the e-commerce sector between Hanoi, HCM City and other localities. During this period, Hanoi and HCM City have continuously accounted for 70% of the national e-commerce scale. 

In 2019, the VECOM adopted a fast and sustainable e-commerce development strategy with the desire to help localities narrow the gap and create a larger market for online businesses. 

“In 2020, many localities had taken positive moves to gradually narrow the gap and we predict the 2021-25 period is time of the rapid e-commerce development in the provinces and cities,” said Nguyen Binh Minh from the VECOM.

 A local shopper is finding products on an e-commerce site. Photo: Phuong Thu

Steady e-commerce growth until 2025

According to a survey of about 5,000 VECOM member, in 2020, the country's e-commerce increased by about 15%, reaching a turnover of about US$13.2 billion. The value is predicted to continue growing steadily in 2021 and until 2025. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic has exerted a great and comprehensive impact on the economy - society, including e-commerce,” VECOM Chairman Nguyen Thanh Hung said. “Overcoming difficulties, e-commerce still stands firm, even has a breakthrough in some areas when Covid-19 has changed consumption and shopping habits.”

Businesses have also become more active in information technology application, changing organizational structure and business activities, accelerating digital transformation, training human resources, and making good use of online platforms for internal operations and connecting with customers, Hung said.

Being of the same mind, Trinh Khac Toan, a representative from Amazon Global Selling Vietnam also shared some information such as the proportion of e-commerce is increasing strongly because the growth of online retail sales in the world increased by 22% in the past five years, which is projected to be above 20% in 2021.

In fact, more and more Vietnamese businesses are opening stores on the Amazon e-commerce platform to find distributors and connect with hundreds of millions of consumers around the world.


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