More Vietnamese businesses should seek trade with Norwegian businesses via e-commerce, experts said at a conference held in HCM City on June 28.
“Norway is an important trade partner of Viet Nam in northern Europe,” Vo Tan Thanh, deputy chairman of Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said.
The negotiation of free trade agreements between Viet Nam and the European Free Trade Association is expected to boost investment among the two countries, he added.
Norway’s GDP per capita was around US$81,695 in 2018, the third highest in the world, according to a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The country is strong in sea economy, renewable energy and environmentally friendly technology.
Despite the geographical distance, trade growth potential between the two countries is high, and many Norway businesses are interested in working with Vietnamese partners, Thanh said.
Le Hai Binh, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam E-commerce Association, said that businesses in more developed countries are prioritising online exports and finding partners through the Internet to reduce costs. Traditional commerce users have to deal with face-to-face meetings, exhibitions and fairs, high costs and limited market expansion opportunity.
Many Vietnamese businesses have tried e-commerce, and while investing into a website is relatively cheap, many of them have not been maintained well. Many e-commerce sellers are also not proactive in their marketing, selling and customer services.
According to the Viet Nam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency, around half of surveyed businesses do not know how to use their websites.
He advised businesses to build better online profiles and focus on websites, fanpages and other community pages. They should also use more national and international platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba and Tiki, and hire experts in areas such as customer services and digital marketing.
A representative from TradingFoe, which is a B2B e-commerce platform that facilitates trade between Asian and Nordic markets, said the platform could help Vietnamese companies do business with Norwegian businesses as well as other Northern European businesses.
In 2018, bilateral trade between Norway and Viet Nam was around $363 million. As of May this year, Norway’s total FDI into Viet Nam was around $163.84 million.
The conference was held by VCCI and TradingFoe.