Digital transformation to boost exports


Many businesses have applied software solutions, using digital platforms in production and business activities. Photo: ST
Many businesses have applied software solutions, using digital platforms in production and business activities. Photo: ST

Open up export opportunities

Vietnam is considered one of the countries with a pretty good digital economy development rate in the ASEAN region. Vietnam’s digital economy in 2021 reached 21 billion USD, up 31% over the same period last year, and contributed more than 5% of the country’s GDP. According to many forecasts, Vietnam’s economy is changing rapidly through the application of digital technology. It is expected that Vietnam’s digital economy will reach 57 billion USD by 2025, ranking second in Southeast Asia, with a growth rate of 29% per year.

Many businesses have applied software solutions, using digital platforms in accounting and financial management, sales, online marketing, distribution channel management, business administration or creating new products and services. In import and export, maintaining a continuous export surplus for many months has significantly contributed to the digital transformation, from administrative procedures and business environment to production activities.

Sharing about this issue, Ms Nguyen Thi Hong Cuc, Marketing Director of Tien Thien Tea Development and Investment Joint Stock Company, said that, in the past 5 years, the company has focused on developing commerce on domestic and international e-commerce flatforms, maintaining marketing activities through international social networks, etc. Thanks to that, the company’s products have been supplied to domestic and international markets.

In particular, Ms Hong Cuc emphasised digital transformation is an inevitable development trend of every business, but in trade, digital platforms help develop export activities more than domestic trade. Because through social networks as well as e-commerce, international partners can easily learn about products and businesses, connecting and signing many orders to markets in Europe, Taiwan, China, etc.

Similarly, according to Ms Do Lan Huong, Director of Schum International Co., Ltd., although a newly established business with coffee products is produced from farms in Lam Dong and Son La, its head office is in Hanoi. However, thanks to digital transformation, the company’s the production and business activities are always smooth. Moreover, businesses have built a brand image for international customers, especially through digital platforms. Therefore, the enterprise has now exported to several customers by unofficial quota to officially export in large quantities by official quota in the next 3 years.

Also setting an export target thanks to digital transformation within the next 5 years, Ms Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc, representative of Ngoc Thanh Son Tea Co., Ltd. hopes that digital transformation will shorten this goal. Because nowadays, digital transformation, digital technology applications, and e-commerce are helping businesses bring their products’ brands to international partners faster.

Ms Ngoc took an example by building a website to introduce products. Even though it is a start-up business, in the past 1 year, there have been visitors from 16 countries worldwide. The product is known and ordered by nationwide customers, more effective than the traditional channel when only selling goods in the Hanoi market. Moreover, in the past, businesses attended trade fairs and programs with a budget of up to hundreds of millions of VND. Thanks to the application of digital and e-commerce platforms, businesses have saved costs tens of times less but reached customers more widely.

In a more specific analysis of this issue, Ms Dinh Thi Thuy, General Director of MISA Joint Stock Company, said that when all professional tasks are manipulated on software, personnel will spend a lot of time focusing on professional work, intentionally analysing and consulting for businesses, as well as focusing on finding potential customers on all platforms, concentrating on customer experience, contributing to effective sales growth. In addition, when automating processes and visual reports on one platform, businesses will find “hot spots”, promptly respond to new developments, and increase their competitiveness in the international market.

More than 60% of businesses are concerned about investment costs

A recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on digital transformation said that many businesses still face difficulties and barriers to carrying out digital transformation. Specifically, 60.1% of enterprises are concerned about the high cost of investment and technology application; 52.3% of enterprises reflected the difficulty of the lack of internal human resources to apply digital technology and change the habits of enterprises and employees.

However, in terms of costs, Mr Do Hoang Hai, General Director of Wincom Technology Joint Stock Company, said that technology in digital transformation only accounts for about 20% of the total cost. Buying software for business applications is not difficult. The problem is to exploit its value. Therefore, businesses must clearly understand the problems and processes to develop the appropriate plan.

In addition, talking about the difficulties of businesses, according to Ms Nguyen Thi Hong Cuc, thanks to digital transformation, the company has built a closed and compact process from production to distribution and export even though the office and manufacturing factory are located up to 800 km apart. However, they are small and medium-sized enterprises. It is difficult to access the market because the product is a speciality, so it is aimed at more specific customers. Therefore, Ms Cuc expects the authorities to have the backing to support businesses to have more resources to invest in digital technology and to support businesses in trade promotion in the digital environment to make the most of export opportunities.

In addition to the desire to support capital, Ms Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc expects the authorities to promote propaganda on technology use, online purchase and payment, etc, to the majority of the population, helping to increase efficiency for the process of bringing business activities to the digital platform of enterprises.

On the other hand, many businesses also recommend digital transformation support from technology enterprises, helping them build processes and invest in technology following the size and potential of the business. For example, with the solution of MISA AMIS, all business administration activities are constantly updated from sales, finance and accounting, and human resource management, thereby helping businesses to be more convenient in boosting import and export activities, increasing trade opportunities with international partners. Or recently, the Vietnam Confederation of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has collaborated with many international corporations to raise awareness, and train application skills and experience of digital tools for business development and improve operational efficiency for thousands of businesses.


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