E-commerce giant Amazon is proceeding with its ambitious business plan in Viet Nam, following Alibaba’s footsteps, said Nguyen Thanh Hung, chairman of the Viet Nam E-commerce Association (VECOM).

According to a source from VECOM, during a meeting between VECOM and representatives of the Amazon Group held last week, the firm’s spokesperson revealed that they had set their eyes on the new up-and-coming market in Southeast Asia, as well as walked delegates through the firm’s strategy to approach customers in the country.

“Amazon’s strategy consists of two steps. They want to export goods to Viet Nam and then import goods from the country. They also want to support Vietnamese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to export on Amazon,” Hung said, adding that this move should be considered as a good sign for the Vietnamese SME community.

Earlier in November, during his Viet Nam visit, Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, who is the Executive Chairman of Chinese online marketplace Alibaba, also expressed his desire to assist Viet Nam to develop e-commerce and science technology, fields in which the country holds high growth potential.

Alibaba striking a deal to acquire a controlling stake in Lazada Group SA, the popular Vietnamese e-commerce website, showed Alibaba’s willingness to further participate in the Vietnamese e-commerce market.

Hung said that the participation of foreign e-commerce businesses, especially Lazada, is making the e-commerce market more competitive than ever. With the strong support of Alibaba, Lazada has a great opportunity to become the leading e-commerce platform in Viet Nam.


Nguyen Thi Hanh, Deputy Director of the Sellers Centre under Red Lotus Trade and Investment Joint Stock Company, told the business news website cafef.vn that according to VECOM, Viet Nam business-to-consumer (B2C), e-commerce retail sales in 2016 reached US$5 billion, accounting for 3 per cent of the country’s total retail products.

E-commerce businesses must together strive harder to bring about a higher percentage of sales, to some 5 to 10 per cent.

Tran Ngoc Thai Son, CEO of local e-commerce site Tiki.vn, said he was not really worried about foreign competitors in the e-commerce market, adding that the appearance of strong foreign rivals had led to a large investment capital in the country’s market, creating necessary motivation for local businesses to strive.

“Tiki was doing very well at the time of Alibaba’s acquisition of Lazada,” Son said.

Dinh Thi My Loan, Chairman of the Viet Nam Association of Retailers, said that Vietnamese retailers faced great difficulties and challenges while competing in the market.

Therefore, retail businesses must be active, creative and innovative, she said.