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Amazon Is in Vietnam, but Not to Sell Products. Not in the Next 5 Years.

Despite the retail behemoth's recent establishment of Amazon Global Selling Vietnam and the hiring of a former-Alibaba top manager to serve as CEO, the company won't start selling to customers in Vietnam anytime soon, according to an industry insider.

Numerous barriers stand in the way of Amazon serving Vietnamese consumers including some of the world's most expensive shipping logistics that gobble up 20% of the nation's GDP, according to VietnamNet. The nation's propensity for cash purchases presents additional challenges. And while Vietnam is rapidly growing, its e-commerce numbers still lag behind regional peers, making it a less attractive point of entry for Amazon.

Netizens who failed the fine print had been excited by the announcement that Amazon would arrive in Vietnam in 2019, but their official presence only involves efforts to assist local small- and medium-sized enterprises in getting their products to global marketplaces. 

Early this spring, Nguyen Ngoc Dung, deputy chair of the Vietnam E-commerce Association, explained the situation: “I am one of the officers in charge of connecting Amazon Global Selling with Vietnam. I can say for sure that Amazon still doesn’t have any intention to join the Vietnamese market." He later added that he didn't expect Amazon storehouses or retail channels to commence in Vietnam within the next five years. 

Until Amazon makes its true and complete arrival, citizens are forced to order via intermediaries in other countries who then ship it ahead via shipping agents or the national postal service. Currently, Singapore is the only nation in Southeast Asia able to enjoy the company's services. 

[Photo via Flickr user The.Grim.North]

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