Online promotion a trade gateway for SMEs

Friday, Jan 08, 2021 08:47

Small and medium-sized enterprises should embrace online trade promotions to expand export markets amid the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNA/VNS Photo

Online trade promotion offers businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), direct access to international customers, boosts their sales, speeds up the marketing process, and saves costs, experts have said.

The Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency has encouraged localities, businesses and trade promotion organisations to develop online marketing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It wants businesses to adopt trade promotion activities on digital platforms, develop e-commerce activities and increase the use of information technology in their operations.

It will strengthen trade promotion programmes for exports and foster online trade links between Vietnamese businesses and import partners.

Nguyen Huu Tin, director of the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), said supply chains are disrupted and e-commerce showed it could help SMEs maintain their operations.

Digital transformation could help firms penetrate and expand export markets, and set up a more flexible and efficient export model, he said.

A number of Vietnamese firms are now adopting business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce business models, he added.

Globally, cross-border e-commerce is developing rapidly and becoming a major trend in trade.

Under the national e-commerce development master plan for 2021-25 and the national digital transformation programme, Viet Nam has identified digital transformation as vital to speeding up modernisation of its distribution system, increase enterprises’ competitiveness, develop the domestic market, and increase exports.

Online trade promotion is considered crucial to helping SMEs enhance trade activities and expand export markets amid the pandemic.

To Hoai Nam, standing vice-chairman and general secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (VINASME), said, however, that Vietnamese SMEs have limited resources so have great difficulty adopting digitisation in trade promotion and exports.

So VINASME has called on the Ministry of Industry and Trade to help SMEs export by setting up a B2B e-commerce channel under the National Trade Promotion Programme this year.

The programme aims to help traders and producers advertise their goods in the global marketplace.

The association will build a B2B e-commerce site based with Global Sources, a US e-commerce corporation.

The programme is meant for manufacturers and traders in labour-intensive industries such as textiles, footwear, handicrafts, furniture, and plastic goods.

The association has also undertaken online trade promotion activities instead of sending to Vietnamese delegations to participate in international trade fairs and exhibitions.

It has implemented a number of programmes to assist SMEs with increasing exports through the internet and doing business on B2B e-commerce sites.

According to the Multilateral Trade Policy Department, trade promotion activities are now moving online, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also helps businesses save significant amounts of money.

According to the Viet Nam E-Commerce Association, the country's e-commerce market will grow by more than 30 per cent this year to $15 billion and to $52 billion by 2025. — VNS

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