Fado, the first Vietnam cross-border e-commerce platform, plans to help local SMEs go global.

“Vietnam has so many quality products but local suppliers don’t have an official platform to sell them worldwide,” Fado CEO Pham Tan Dat said.

“Our mission is to create a channel for local SMEs to reach global customers.”

As Alibaba’s authorised global channel partner in Vietnam, Fado plans to help 260 million SMEs access 190 countries.

In 2017, 32 percent of Vietnam SMEs partnered with foreign online partners. Last year, the rate was 98 percent, among which two-thirds were ‘extra-small businesses’.

Founded in 2011, as a cross-border shipping company, Fado rose to become the first cross-border e-commerce platform in Vietnam in 2014.

Technically partnered with Amazon, Fado connects Amazon suppliers with Vietnamese shoppers on a single platform.

“Our services are not only legal but also convenient to customers. They don’t have to worry about how their purchases are shipped cross border. Customers enjoy our return policies if the products are not as described on websites.

Shoppers also can buy discounted products in real-time, especially during events like Amazon Prime Day, without subscribing to a membership.

The platform has partnered with Proship to deliver products within its home market.

Fado’s biggest challenge is how to calculate import tax for 4 billion products before customers purchase them, especially during sales.

“Fado builds a product database using machine learning and AI including images and description so the system can recognize them and apply the right import-tax code. Our system also recognise products banned according to Vietnamese law,” Pham added.

Vietnam’s cross-border e-commerce market is predicted to increase by 30 percent annually. According to Vu Ba Phu, head of Vietnam’s Trade Promotion Agency, the global market will reach US$3300 billion in the next two years.