Many in the Vietnamese entrepreneurial community believe the arrival of Amazon, the e-commerce giant, will be a ‘threat’, not an ‘opportunity’.
The hottest topic on the sidelines of the e-commerce forum organized by the Vietnam E-commerce Association days ago was the news about Amazon entering Vietnam.
The participants also talked about the news that Alibaba is implementing an ambitious plan to swallow the South East Asian market through Lazada.“With Alibaba’s and Amazon’s trading floors, Vietnamese companies will have more opportunities to export products,” he explained. “Of course, Vietnam’s e-commerce firms need to follow reasonable business strategies to compete with the giants.”
He said that with trade agreements and export growth, e-commerce will have bigger opportunities for development.
E-commerce has developed in Vietnam for 10 years but many trading floors failed and had to leave the market.
Dang Thuy Ha from Nielsen Vietnam also thinks the presence of the big players will be good news for the e-commerce market, businesses and consumers.
Having more suppliers, a large playing field and the capability to access the global economy, which generates healthy competition, are the biggest benefits for Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese consumers will have more choices for products as they have more opportunities to buy foreign-made products.
However, Vietnamese entrepreneurs are not optimistic about their performance.
Kieu Tien Anh, director of 5T International JSC, said it would be ‘very dangerous’ once Alibaba, which is popular throughout China, running vast electronic markets, comes to Vietnam with its advanced technology.
“This is a threat, not an opportunity for us,” he said, adding that there is no Vietnamese company which has technology as good as Alibaba’s.
With Alibaba and Amazon, 60-65 percent of market share will fall into foreigners’ hands. This means that Vietnamese firms will struggle for the remaining 40 percent of market share.
Gijae Seong from Amazon has not revealed the strategy it is following in Vietnam, but only mentioned that Amazon is seeking manufacturers and exporters in Vietnam.
State officials have tried to calm down Vietnamese e-commerce firms amid warnings that Amazon and Alibaba would dislodge them from the home market.
Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Import/Export Agency, said Amazon and Alibaba will not target market segments that Vietnamese firms target.
“I believe the presence of Alibaba and Amazon in Vietnam will only bring benefits: Vietnamese businesses will have advantages to reach the world market,” he said.