|Experts discuss opportunites and challenges for Việt Nam in the sharing economy. — VNS Photo Vũ Hoa|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is positioned to take advantage of the growing opportunities presented by the sharing economy, said Rebecca Bryant, Australian Embassy Charge D’Affaire at the conference on the sharing economy held in Hà Nội on Thursday.
“With a well-educated and young population and almost 70 per cent of people owning a smart-phone, Việt Nam’s economy stands to benefit significantly from these developing technologies,” Bryant said.
She said that one of the greatest changes of recent years had been the development of the sharing economy. The sharing economy is estimated to grow from US$14 billion in 2014 to $335 billion by 2025, increasing by 22 times within 10 years.
“So while the sharing economy is still in its infancy at the moment, it will inevitably become a major part of the economy – both at a national and global level,” she noted.
Nguyễn Thị Tuệ Anh, deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) agreed, saying the nature of the sharing economy is a new business model which takes advantage of digital technologies, thus reducing transaction costs and accessing a big number of customers through digital foundation.
The sharing economy is different from the traditional model as all transactions have been implemented online by a third party. It provides more choices to customers with cheaper prices. Individuals joining in the sharing economy could be part-time to provide them more jobs and increasing income.
The sharing economy has developed in sectors of transport service (Uber, Grab, Lyft and Zipcar), tourism and hotel service (Airbnb, VRBO), labour (Homejoy and Handy, TaskRabbit, Upwork) and financial services (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Lending Club).
“The sharing economy will become a consumption trend in the future. It is forecast to expand to different sectors in the upcoming time,” Anh said, adding that people in developing countries were expected to join in resource sharing with others more than in developed ones.
She said sharing economy could create new business methods, opening new business opportunities based on digital foundation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“With the sharing economy, the market would become more competitive with diversified services, thus bringing benefits to consumers. In addition, it would also bring more investment opportunities, creating jobs and increasing incomes,” she added.
The sharing economy could also help save natural resources, make use of abundant assets and protect to environment. It could also foster the development of a renovation and start-up ecosystem.
“The sharing economy could be an opportunity for Việt Nam’s administrative reform toward e-government to effectively participate in the digital economy and Industry 4.0,” she noted.
However, the sharing economy could also have potential challenges, making new relationships arise and causing benefit conflicts with traditional business models.
“These challenges could be named as unequal competition, economic concentration and lack of tools to protect consumers online. State management agencies could struggle to control the new models, especially financial duties,” she said.
The deputy director suggested the Government continue to improve the business environment to adapt with the rapid development of the digital economy while ensuring equality between the new model and traditional one. Suitable policies should be studied to encourage the model development.
“The building of an e-government and information and technology foundation should be accelerated, especially building an open data system to serve for State management on the sharing economy model,” she said.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vũ Đại Thắng said Việt Nam has not been an exception in the development of business model.
“Both benefits and risks for the economy and consumers have been seen. It was the reason for the building of new policies and amending the current regulations have been vital to fully tap into opportunities brought by the sharing economy while minimising positive impacts,” Thắng said.
He added that Việt Nam has been studying international experiences on the impacts of big trends of digital technologies to the economy. This could help the Government have necessary information to provide a suitable strategy in the wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. — VNS