Vietnam Looks for Way Forward for E-Commerce

Although Vietnam's government understands the need to use e-commerce to improve the country's economic competitiveness, several obstacles still remain, according to a government report released Wednesday.þE-commerce can be especially useful for the large State-owned enterprises (SOEs) which continue to make up the bulk of the economy, one local expert said in the report.

Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said in the report: "Vietnam's economy will integrate into the world economy only when its enterprises can integrate into the world economy. E-business is the best way for them under current circumstances." However, the report pointed out that Vietnam still has a poor telecommunications network, low local Internet subscription, a low level of credit card use and a lack of legal safeguards covering e-commerce transactions.þCompanies that want to put up their own Web sites currently have to host them with the country's largest ISP (Internet service provider), the government-owned Vietnam Data Communications Corp.

Until now, just over 600 websites have been opened by local enterprises, in a country where there are about 40,000 small and medium-sized businesses, Loc said in the report.þThe development of e-commerce in Vietnam is expected to be one of the major topics under discussion at the Vietnam IT Week to be held in Ho Chi Minh City from September 6 to September 9.

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