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VN Trade Ministry considers selling farm produce online to China

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), in an effort to rescue Vietnam’s farm produce, has decided to organize online trade between Vietnamese sellers and Chinese businesses.

MOIT’s Trade Promotion Center (Vietrade) is joining forces with the Department of Commerce of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to organize the online trade program between Vietnamese producers and suppliers of farm produce and Guangxi buyers.

 

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Vietnam’s export activities have been adversely affected since the beginning of the year because of Covid-19. The traditional trade activities between Vietnam and China, especially farm produce trade, have been suspended because of strict measures to prevent the coronavirus spread.

It is expected that a conference on online trade will be organized on April 21-23, gathering 80 Vietnamese and Chinese enterprises.

The Vietnamese enterprises include farm produce and food companies from 10 northern provinces/cities, or localities which signed an MOU on cooperating on trade with the Guangxi Trade Department in June 2019.

The Vietnamese enterprises include farm produce and food companies from 10 northern provinces/cities, or localities which signed an MOU on cooperating on trade with the Guangxi Trade Department in June 2019.

Vu Vinh Phu, a respected trade expert, commented that more and more online trade promotion activities have been carried out recently. In the context of the rapid spread of coronavirus, online trade activities have become popular.

However, Phu said, it is necessary to think about how to organize online trade activities and what Vietnam can expect from the activities.

MOIT should not just set up a trading floor for enterprises to meet each other and not care about the results.

“If the online trade channel is set up just as a formality and if there is no regular connection, this will be a big waste of money and time,” he warned.

Phu expressed his concern about the payment method in transactions between Vietnamese and Chinese businesses.

A report shows that 80 percent of online retail transactions follow the COD (cash on delivery) mode, i.e. buyers don’t make payment until they get deliveries. Phu cited the report to show that it is not easy to establish credibility and prestige in online business.

When Phu was deputy director of the Hanoi Trade Department, he went to many localities for trade promotion campaigns.

“They (farmers and enterprises) committed to provide products, but they would break their promise if they could not find partners who accepted to pay higher prices,” he said.

The expert went on to say that e-commerce is a very attractive playing field, but it requires a high level of state management.

In a relate matter, China has prohibited trucks carrying exports from some epidemic stricken areas in Vietnam to cross border gates to deliver goods.

Linh Ha

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