|Nguyen Thai Hai Van, CEO of Grab Vietnam, made a speech at a high-level roundtable on powering digital economy, the driver of economic growth in the new normal|
Grab is an e-commerce ecosystem that allows users to access many essential daily services through an all-in-one super app. Currently on the Grab platform, Grab offers transportation services (Grab Car, Grab Bike), online food delivery (Grab Food), online grocery delivery (GrabMart), and logistics services (Grab Driver).
Grab has analysed the challenges of the past period and looked at the picture of the next few years when the economy is recovering from the pandemic. From the experience Grab observed in the process of working with the state to fight the pandemic and maintain the economy, Grab made the following recommendations to maintain basic economic activities.
First, Grab proposed promoting public-private partnership between the government and businesses in applying the technology platforms to implement pandemic prevention activities and promote the digital economy.
In the past, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have faced many challenges to maintain supply chains during social distancing. Grab has proposed deploying its technology platform for grocery shopping in the municipal cities. The pilot programme in Thu Duc City has achieved very good results. Grab believes that if this partnership happens earlier and on a larger scale, it will greatly assist the local authorities in the fight against the pandemic and maintain the economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on several small businesses in Vietnam. If they do not have the opportunity to participate in the digital economy by opening online stores on technology platforms, they will face great difficulty in resuming operations. Therefore, Grab believes that promoting public-private partnerships is vital to maintain the supply chain when the economy recovers.
Second, it is necessary to recognise the role of the shipper in the supply chain. During the recent pandemic, the shipper personnel acted as an important link in the entire supply chain. However, shippers' travel regulations in each locality have been somewhat unclear.
We would like to thank the government and local People’s Committees for their positive views on the shipper team so they are among the priority groups to receive vaccination. In the next stage of development, we expect more consistent and appropriate administrative regulations and policies for the shipper force so they can operate smoothly as well as get vaccination jabs. For many countries, shippers are considered frontline workers in the fight against the pandemic. We should look more closely into this issue.
Third, in terms of long-term policy, Grab believes that Vietnam needs policies to promote e-commerce and cashless payments.
How can small business households or micro-businesses participate in the digital economy when they are the lifeblood of the environment that serves the essential needs of Vietnamese users? The small business network contributes a very high proportion to the growth of Vietnam compared to the regional average. If we miss the opportunity to help this sector participate in the digital economy, it will affect the opportunities that the digital economy can bring.
Grab itself also prioritises traditional businesses, wet markets, grocery stores, and individual business households so that they can have the most accessible and simplest means of operation.
Cashless payment is also a huge leverage when living with the pandemic. Grab figures show that 45 per cent of users are making cashless payments and this is a very encouraging number. The figure is increasing significantly in August 2020. The number of people accessing cashless payments for the first time on GrabMart increased by nearly 30 per cent. The number of cashless transactions also increased by 150 per cent. The figures show that Vietnam holds large growth momentum in cashless payments. Therefore, Grab hopes that the government will create mechanisms and policies to promote cashless payments in Vietnam.
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