A seminar running the theme of "Vietnam's e-commerce development in the digital era" was held on November 4 in Hanoi, with delegates outlining that the country enjoys the highest growth rate of all digital economies in ASEAN. Many participants proposed a range of solutions aimed at developing e-commerce across a variety of areas pertaining to social life and business activities.

Statistically, both Vietnam and Indonesia lead the way with regards to growth in digital economic development throughout the ASEAN region, reaching average annual growth of 38%, while the remaining countries in the bloc usually see annual growth of between 20% and 30%.

The accelerated voluntary digital transformation of businesses as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has served to further speed up the movement of customers towards e-commerce activities in the nation.

This comes after the Vietnamese digital economy reached a sum of US$12 billion in 2019 and is predicted to rise to US$43 billion by 2025, including in the fields of e-commerce, online travel, online media, and e-hailing vehicles, of which, e-commerce is expected to reach US$23 billion in sales by 2025.

In a master plan aimed at greater national e-commerce development for the 2021- 2025 period adopted by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, e-commerce will be considered one of the pioneering areas of the digital economy, helping businesses to vastly improve competitiveness, and develop export markets.

Nguyen Thi Minh Huyen, deputy director of the Department of E-Commerce and Digital Economy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said, "The Prime Minister's Decision 749 has outlined a vision by 2025, in which the digital economy accounts for 20% of GDP and e-commerce is one of the important components for the US$35 billion target of total retail e-commerce of goods and services nationwide by 2025.

E-commerce is increasingly asserted as one of the important modern distribution channels besides the traditional one."

Vietnamese e-commerce growth in recent years indicates that the telecommunications infrastructure is yet to fully meet the requirements of the digital economy due to the distributed data system not being shared and interconnected. In addition, development is not equal among economic field  and regions, while the connection of economic sectors is not as high as expected.

As a result of these factors, participants at the seminar said that, along with promoting e-government and building towards a greater digital economy, it is necessary to announce a master plan relating to information technology development and application.

Assoc. Dr. Phan The Cong from the University of Commerce stated, "It is necessary to work out a master plan on the development of information technology application. It should clearly indicate a national development strategy for each sector and each locality across the country in order to help people, businesses, and managers shape the development strategy of information technology application.”

He also underscored the need to ensure cybersecurity whilst combatting high-tech crime based on decrees and regulations with a synchronous legal system as a means of creating trust for users.VOV