Amazon opens door to Vietnam exports in herald of market entrance

Amazon, the world’s largest Internet retailer by revenue and market capitalization, is set to officially open up its platform to exports from Vietnamese businesses this month, an insider told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Amazon’s head of sales in Singapore would be in Vietnam later this month for an e-commerce forum held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where the executive is expected to sign a deal with the Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM), a VECOM representative said on Tuesday.

The 2018 Vietnam Online Business Forum (VOBF 2018) will open in Hanoi on March 14, before moving to Ho Chi Minh City on March 16.

The Amazon sales executive will take to the stage at both events to outline the company’s analysis of Vietnam’s fast-growing e-commerce market, as well as its strategies in the Southeast Asian nation.

The upcoming deal, which was discussed at a meeting late last year between Amazon and VECOM, would open the door for Vietnam’s small and medium-d enterprises to reach foreign markets through Amazon’s platform.

The move is seen as the company’s first step in wading into Vietnam’s ludicrous online retailing market, which reported a growth rate of 25 percent in 2017 and is showing no signs of slowing down, according to VECOM.

There are reportedly thousands of websites offering online shopping experience in the Southeast Asian country of 93 million people, which posted an average increase in revenue of 35 percent last year, VECOM said.

As online retailing blooms in Vietnam, delivery services also saw hiking growth rates of between 62 percent and 200 percent in 2017, the association added.

The entrance of Amazon into Vietnam is forecast to be warmly welcomed by local consumers, who have resorted to ordering via third parties or paid extra shipping fees to buy products sold on the platform.

Amazon’s Vietnam venture will not be entirely smooth sailing, economic experts predict, as the U.S. tech giant will face fierce competition from local powers and Chinese investors that have spearheaded the ‘foreign invasion’ into the market.

Chinese e-commerce giant recently poured US$44 million into Tiki, one of Vietnam’s first and largest Internet retailing platforms, to become a strategic shareholder at the company.

China’s Alibaba, the world’s top online retailer by total sales, has also spent nearly $1 billion taking over the control of the Southeast Asian business of German e-commerce company Lazada, including its operations in Vietnam.

Singapore’s Shopee and South Korea’s Lotte have announced their multimillion-dollar plans to remain in the race for a fair share of Vietnam’s e-commerce market as well.

Amazon’s chief executive and founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s first centi-billionaire, according to the latest Forbes rich list.

Bezos' net worth has now surpassed the $112 billion mark, making him the only person on the ultra-wealthy list worth more than $100 billion.


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