Online trade fairs and exhibitions boom amid COVID-19

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Visitors attend the Vietnam Expo in HCM City. The COVID-19 has made great influence on a series of trade fairs and exhibitions of many businesses in Việt Nam.— VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI – The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted trade fairs and exhibitions of businesses in Việt Nam, forcing many to postpone their events.

But Vietnam Expo 2020, the oldest and most prestigious trade promotional event in Việt Nam, did go ahead, thanks to a combination of regular and online booths.

Nguyễn Thu Hồng Deputy General Director of Vinexad (Vietnam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company) said online business platforms helped to improve trade opportunities amid ongoing social distancing measures and border restrictions.

In special pavilions, visitors could view products and complete transactions via apps, with constant support from interpreters. Meetings were also pre-scheduled to take place during the course of the exhibition.

“From the end of last year, my company developed exhibitions by combining regular and online booths. The online business meetings were also scheduled via Zoom during the course of the exhibitions,” Hồng said.

The annual trade fair in 2019 attracted 600 pavilions from 15 cities and provinces in Việt Nam and 23 territories and countries and welcomed 21,000 business people.

The Vietnam Expo 2021 will take place in Hà Nội from April 14-17.

Hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the annual event aims to boost exports, develop the domestic market, and expand and diversify trade promotion activities during global economic integration. During the fair, exhibitors involved in digital transformation are encouraged to join a priority area. Seminars on digital transformation are also on the agenda.

Bùi Thị Thanh An, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said due to the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, many planned trade fairs and exhibitions were postponed so the agency had to conduct online business platforms.

For the Chinese market, the agency conducted about eight to 10 events, using the method of “cloud exhibition” and “no direct contact” last year.

As it was impossible to organise trade fairs and exhibitions as usual, many initiatives were made to promote online trade. This move was welcomed and received positive support from businesses, An added.

Tina Phan, Indochina Director at Hong Kong Trade Development Council said because it was impossible to bring Vietnamese businesses to Hong Kong to find trade partners amid COVID-19, she would help Hong Kong businesses to connect with Vietnamese companies via online platforms.

Park Ki Young, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea said Việt Nam was an important partner and he hoped Vietnamese companies would become a major link in the supply chain of South Korean enterprises, especially in the fields of automobile production, electronics, footwear, and textiles.

By the end of this year, the applications for digital transformation by manufacturers and service companies will further encourage local businesses to participate. Businesses applying digital transformation will have the same starting point including transforming their thinking and perception. – VNS

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