Digital technology plays an important role and has a significant impact on Vietnamese enterprises’ activities.
In 2015, up to 95 percent of Vietnamese enterprises were using the Internet, but up to 60 percent of them faced difficulties with information technology (IT) applications, according to a report from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
The VCCI, in coordination with Google Asia Pacific, organised a seminar called “Tap the vast potential of the digital economy: Are Vietnamese Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) ready?” in Hanoi recently.
The report from VCCI also showed that businesses which effectively applied IT were able to access information on laws and policies more easily, adopting administrative procedures more quickly and seeing better business results.
Vu Tien Loc, VCCI chairman, said the digital technology movement had developed rapidly and had made a significant impact on Vietnamese enterprises, especially small and mid-sized enterprises.
Proper reception and effective application of technology will help SMEs in Vietnam improve their competitiveness, he said.
State agencies also need to strengthen their application of IT to build policies that create favourable conditions for developing enterprises, he emphasised.
"Nearly 98 percent of Vietnamese enterprises are SMEs, but they generate up to 51 percent of total employment and contribute 40 percent to the national gross domestic product,” Loc said.
The Internet had opened up major opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises to reach past the Vietnamese border, he said.
Vietnamese SMEs have great motivation and know they need to grasp opportunities that will help them quickly grow into large enterprises, he said. According to Google, some 52 million people connect online in Viet Nam, and the country ranks fifth among those with the largest number of people connecting online in the Asia-Pacific region, after China, India, Japan and Indonesia.
Up to 55 percent of Vietnamese have smart phones, while only 46 percent own a personal computer.
The Vietnamese use their phones for many different activities ranging from seeking information to watching videos, getting directions, checking traffic conditions and managing a shopping list.
However, according to a Google representative, the digitalisation of Vietnamese enterprises remains slow for various reasons.
There is a lack of awareness of the benefits of online connection, a lack of internal technical expertise and people are in the habit of using cash due to security issues.
Kevin O’Kane, managing director, SMB, Google Asia Pacific, spoke at the seminar, saying any Vietnamese enterprise could become an e-commerce enterprise as there were customers available online on the Internet and on mobile platforms.
Customers typically expect businesses to have an e-commerce presence.
However, the majority of SMEs in Vietnam has not yet provided a mobile commerce experience and many have not adopted e-commerce practices at all.
This makes these businesses almost invisible to more than half of Viet Nam’s online population as well as the rest of the world, he said.