The integration of information technology (IT) and digital transformation into trade promotion activities has become an essential avenue for organizations and businesses to capitalize on opportunities for market expansion. The use of e-commerce platforms and technology has grown significantly, with many enterprises harnessing them to enhance efficiency in their operations.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, often referred to as Industry 4.0, has catalyzed technological advancements, innovation, and creative thinking, prompting a shift in growth paradigms. The adoption of IT and digital transformation is a pervasive trend encompassing all facets of life, economy, and society, including trade promotion. Vietnam has been actively embracing this evolution, aligning itself with the principles of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As a result, trade promotion activities and the formulation of trade promotion policies have been influenced by the ongoing process of IT integration within the context of international trade.
Recognizing the significance of science, technology, innovation, and digital transformation, the Party and State have set forth a developmental vision for the nation from 2021 to 2023. This vision emphasizes rapid, sustainable development founded primarily on these principles. To effectively leverage the opportunities presented by Industry 4.0, this vision underscores the importance of restructuring the economy, fostering the digital economy, and enhancing product quality, business efficiency, and competitiveness. This strategic direction is outlined in various documents, including the National Digital Transformation program to 2025 with the vision to 2030, the E-Government development strategy towards the digital government in the 2021-2025 period, with a vision to 2030
In recent years, the integration of IT into trade promotion activities has gained traction across various sectors in Vietnam. Trade promotion entities at both central and local levels, as well as associations and businesses, are actively embracing and optimizing IT applications to bolster their online trade promotion capabilities. Nonetheless, there remain limitations in resource allocation for IT implementation in trade promotion activities. To address this, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has introduced several initiatives, such as Decision No. 2110/QD-BCT dated 7 August 2020, which approves a scheme aimed at promoting IT application in trade promotion.
In tandem with these efforts, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has swiftly amended and supplemented regulations through Circular No. 40/2020/TT-BCT, focusing on trade promotion in the digital domain within the framework of the National Program on Trade Promotion. Furthering these endeavors, the Ministry has submitted Decision No. 1968/QD-TTg, dated November 22, 2021, which endorses the project "Promoting IT Application and Digital Transformation in Trade Promotion Activities in the Early Period 2021-2030."
The primary objective of this project is to enhance the quality and efficiency of governmental trade promotion agencies, trade support organizations, and trade promotion enterprises. Achieving this goal necessitates the establishment of a digital trade promotion ecosystem, accompanied by heightened awareness and capacity-building in IT application and digital transformation. In tandem, this initiative is geared towards spurring economic and trade development.
The specific objectives outlined in the "Promoting IT Application and Digital Transformation in Trade Promotion Activities for the 2021-2030 Period" project are as follows:
- Establishment of a comprehensive digital trade promotion ecosystem.
- Granting accounts on the Digital XTTM Ecosystem to all trade promotion organizations and more than 200,000 businesses.
- Achieving transactions and information sharing on the Digital XTTM Ecosystem by 50% of these entities.
- Development of specialized databases encompassing trade promotion and 10 key export industries.
- Integration of these industries with databases from 10 pivotal export markets.
- Organizing 25% of market connection services on the connection platform, facilitating 100,000 business visits.
- Hosting 25% of trade fairs and exhibitions in the digital sphere.
- Providing training and guidance to over 100,000 enterprises, cooperatives, and business households in the application of information technology and digital transformation for trade promotion.
- Ensuring information security in the process.
- Achieving the utilization and operation of shared platforms by 100% of trade promotion organizations and over 100,000 enterprises, cooperatives, and business households, enabling data sharing with the Digital Trade Promotion Ecosystem.
- Enabling 100% of trade promotion-related administrative procedures to be conducted via online public services at level 3.4 and integration with the National Public Service Portal.
- Obtaining a 90% satisfaction rate from businesses regarding the results of administrative procedures in the digital environment.
- Full development and enhancement of the Digital Trade Promotion Ecosystem.
- Provision of operating accounts to 75% of trade promotion organizations and businesses for consistent interaction, search, provision, and sharing of information within the Digital Trade Promotion Ecosystem.
- Execution of 50% of market connection services for enterprises through the Digital Trade Promotion Ecosystem, extending support to 1,000,000 businesses.
- Completion of a specialized database encompassing trade promotion and 20 major export industries.
- Strengthened connection, interconnection, and data sharing with the databases of 20 pivotal export markets.
- Transitioning 60% of the total number of fairs and exhibitions to digital platforms.
- Delivering training, guidance, and support to over 1,000,000 enterprises, cooperatives, and business households on the practical application of information technology, digital transformation, and digital platforms.
- Ensuring robust information security throughout the processes.
- Facilitating the utilization, exploitation, and operation of shared platforms by 100% of trade promotion organizations and over 500,000 enterprises, cooperatives, and business households, while actively contributing to the Trade Promotion Ecosystem.
Solutions to Foster IT Application and Digital Transformation in Trade Promotion Activities:
(1) Establishing a Digital Ecosystem for Trade Promotion:
- Develop and integrate a specialized database system for trade promotion, encompassing both domestic and international trade networks, trade enterprises, product portfolios, markets, and other pertinent databases.
- Employ new technologies within trade promotion activities, utilizing digital platforms to facilitate information retrieval and support both domestic and international business interactions.
- Utilize digital platforms to enhance the efficiency of organizing fairs and exhibitions, creating a conducive environment for businesses to showcase products, access information, and establish valuable partnerships.
- Elevate trade promotion capabilities through online training and the application of digital tools in information search and document retrieval, thereby enhancing the proficiency of the trade promotion team.
- The creation of a digital ecosystem for trade promotion must adhere to a unified, closely interlinked structure that aligns with e-Government principles. It should adhere to technological and technical standards and regulatory mandates while ensuring efficient operability, connectivity, communication, and secure data sharing.
(2) Formulating Comprehensive Policies for Promoting IT Application and Digital Transformation:
- The government should continually revise and enhance legal regulations and policies aimed at promoting IT application and digital transformation within trade promotion activities.
- Define criteria to assess the level of IT application and digital transformation in intelligent marketing endeavors.
- Streamline and simplify administrative procedures applicable to digital platforms in trade promotion activities.
- To ensure the effective integration of IT into trade promotion, it is vital to focus on refining financial and investment mechanisms, along with remuneration structures for IT professionals engaged in trade promotion. These mechanisms should align with current development trends. Additionally, the introduction of new policies should be considered to stimulate the adoption of IT within trade promotion initiatives.
(3) Revolutionizing Organizational Models and Operational Approaches for IT Application and Digital Transformation in Marketing:
- Develop, consolidate, and optimize IT infrastructure, ensuring the establishment and management of a unified and synchronized IT system that encompasses both business and technical solutions. This system should prioritize data integration and processing capabilities, as well as address potential incidents as necessary during the development of digital platforms for trade promotion.
- Focus efforts on constructing a centralized database, particularly emphasizing digitized collections that meet the criteria to support and promote trade promotion activities on a nationwide scale.
- A strategic blueprint for promoting IT application solutions is crucial. It should encompass both planning and the ability to swiftly adapt to emergent situations arising during the application of IT and digital technology in trade promotion activities.
(4) Advancement of Propagation and Human Resource Training in IT Application and Digital Transformation within Trade Promotion Activities:
- Disseminate regulations, mechanisms, and policies governing the application of information technology and digital transformation within trade promotion activities.
- Cultivate and expand a network of consultants that bolster trade promotion applications and digital transformation within these activities.
- Organize training sessions, guidance, and instruction on applying information technology and digital transformation in trade promotion endeavors.
- Foster both domestic and international collaboration to propel the application of information technology and digital transformation in trade promotion. Attract both domestic and foreign investments to fortify IT infrastructure, enhance information resources, and provide training and retraining to human resources skilled in IT application for trade promotion.
Heighten awareness and proficiency in digital transformation and intelligent marketing within the digital landscape of organizations and businesses. Foster collaboration among businesses to bolster the promotion of product outputs within the digital realm. Enterprises should digitally transform export activities tailored to specific markets, including traditional ones. Furthermore, active participation in e-commerce platforms and investments in proficient human resources for information technology, sales, marketing, and foreign languages are crucial to effectively navigate cross-border e-commerce activities.
Dr. Tran Thi Thu Hien
Department of Information and Trade Promotion - VIOIT