E-Commerce in Vietnam, although still in a relatively early stage, has seen significant development over the last several years as the country continues its integration with the global economy and as the domestic economy booms. This growth follows naturally as the Vietnamese government, rapidly expanding business community and increasingly sophisticated citizenry become aware of the benefits and conveniences brought about by E-Commerce. As Internet infrastructure continues to improve, bandwidth and speed are up and service is increasingly reliable. As of the end of 2009, Vietnam, with a population of 86 million people, had a 25 percent Internet penetration rate. In urban areas- even if many homes still lack computers- Internet cafes are ubiquitous and WiFi access increasingly common.
The Government of Vietnam has issued regulations governing E-Commerce with a view to encouraging and facilitating the country’s E-Commerce development, including the E-Commerce Law No. 51/2005/QH11 dated November 29, 2005, Decree No. 26/2007/NDCP dated 15 February, 2007 on e-signatures and certification of e-signatures, Decree No. 35/ND-CP dated March 8, 2007 on E-Commerce in banking transactions, and others.
As part of its effort to reform administrative processes throughout all levels of government, the Office of the Government is attempting to increase national competitiveness through modernization of administrative systems and by a increasing the role for E-government.
Government agencies have increasingly turned to information technology applications in dealing with businesses and the general public. Almost all ministries, as well as provincial and municipal governments have established websites providing a wide range of information. A few central and local offices have started to provide simple public services electronically such as E-business registration, E-customs declaration, E-bidding, and E-certificate of origin systems. Nearly half of all provinces and municipalities in Vietnam have created master plans for E-Commerce development, and the World Bank has committed to funding over $100 million for E-Government development over the next five years.
More and more Vietnamese businesses are coming to appreciate the role of E-Commerce in cutting transaction fees, finding new customers domestically and overseas as well as transacting business on line. Along with the robust growth of Internet access and the development of electronic payment systems, business-to business (B2B) E-Commerce has been expanding with increasing speed. As of the end of 2008, 97 percent of Vietnamese businesses had internet access, 38 percent had Websites, and some 10 percent were engaged in e-commerce in some form. Dozens of domestic B2B websites have also been set up.
Vietnamese consumers are gaining increased familiarity with business-to-customer (B2C) and customer-to-customer (C2C) models. Hundreds of B2C and C2C E-Commerce websites have been established in a wide variety of fields, ranging from online supermarkets, transportation, tourism, publications, and computer equipment. Systems for electronic payment are also slowly coming into use.