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Vietnam Airlines Debuts E-commerce Platforms

Vietnam Airline officially launched two e-commerce platforms VNAMAZING, VNAMALL as well as its Vietnam Airlines Gift Card. The services were unveiled on 7 January and are the first of their kind in the domestic aviation sector. VNAMAZING offers online tourism services including tour and accommodation bookings. VNAMALL provides a wide range of aviation and non-aviation goods and services. As these are the first e-commerce platforms run by an airline in Vietnam, they have significant advantages for the carrier’s air logistics and partner networks worldwide.

According to a report, the Vietnam Airlines Gift Card is a product available on VNAMALL, which can be used to exchange airline tickets or avail of business class upgrade benefits on flights operated by Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, and VASCO. The General Director of Vietnam Airlines, Le Hong Ha, noted that as the carrier aims to become a digital airline, it considers e-commerce development one of its top priorities.

Vietnam’s digital economy has been growing at the fastest pace in ASEAN, about 38% annually compared to the region’s average of 33% since 2015. The country expects the digital economy will make up 20% of its GDP and at least 10% in each sector. Recently, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan, informed that local e-commerce has been thriving, playing an important role in economic development. E-commerce development is an inevitable trend in the country, and the COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed it.

As per the Vietnam E-commerce White Book, e-commerce expanded by 18% in 2020, reaching US$11.8 billion, making the country the only one in Southeast Asia to post a double-digit growth rate in this regard. Estimates by some major businesses indicate that the digital economy of Vietnam is likely to top US$52 billion, which would place the country third in ASEAN by 2025.

Amid the resurgence of COVID-19 in 2021, e-commerce proved to be an increasingly useful tool for enterprises. Local consumers are rapidly moving from traditional in-person shopping to online platforms. A survey by the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that Vietnam had 49.3 million online shoppers in 2020, compared to 32.7 million in 2016. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are among the largest cities in terms of digital economic development in the region. In HCM City alone, there are currently 567 e-commerce platforms, over 20,680 websites, and 134 apps. Although the lingering COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the flow of goods, many e-commerce platforms and websites still posted fast growth.

Engagement in the online export-import system and stages of transboundary e-commerce will generate opportunities for Vietnamese firms to increase product quality, improve capacity, and make Vietnamese brands popular among consumers around the world. To help boost the sale of Vietnamese goods internationally, the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency (iDEA) has launched the Vietnam National Pavilion, a worldwide e-commerce platform. It has several industry partners and has formulated policies related to marketing, transport, and lending interest rates to support Vietnamese manufacturers that are carrying out the programme. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has been developing and applying an array of measures such as a certified e-contract authority, guaranteed payment infrastructure for e-commerce, and a platform for managing the e-commerce product flow.

Last November, the Prime Minister approved a plan to step up the application of IT and the development of digital transformation in trade promotion. Further, to create a legal framework for protecting consumers in the e-commerce market, the government issued a decree that amended and supplemented another on e-commerce released in 2013. According to the new decree, sellers must publicise information about products as well as business licences and related certificates when doing business on e-commerce platforms.

Apart from that, business activities on major social networks were also placed under management. The ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce, which was signed in Hanoi in January 2019 and took effect in December 2021, set up common principles and rules for facilitating e-commerce development in the region and enhancing the rule enforcement capacity.

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