Enterprises advised to know global trade policy

Firms are potentially missing out on key opportunities available beyond their immediate borders by focusing on trade policy developments on a regional scale, and showing lack of awareness when it comes to the broader global trade policy environment, according to an HSBC report.

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For companies in Vietnam, only 31% said the EU policy environment has had a positive impact on their business, while 66% saw no impact. (Photo: tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn)
According to the report, a majority of businesses appear to be ignoring or undermining the impact of important policies on their operations.
 
For companies in Vietnam, only 31% said the EU policy environment has had a positive impact on their business, while 66% saw no impact. 

The data was similar for the US policy environment (31% for the EU and 60% for the US), the two major markets for Vietnam’s exporters. 

Similarly, 74% of respondents said the North-American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has had no impact on their business.

A broad lack of awareness from businesses that have major trade and policy initiatives has put them at risk of missing out on significant international growth opportunities, according to the report.  

Although many firms, especially in the services sector, would consider expanding to new markets to grow their business, many could end up losing their competitive advantage if they do not recognise how trade policy is re-shaping the world’s supply chains, and where the best opportunities lie for them in the next few years, according to the HSBC report. 

The positive impact of initiatives that are ‘closer to home’, however, were more broadly recognised by the survey’s respondents.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN 2025 policies received the greatest vote of confidence from business leaders, 59% and 56%, respectively, in the Asia-Pacific region. 

74% of companies in Vietnam said that ASEAN 2025 would have a positive impact on their business and 26% saw no impact. 

In addition, 50% of survey participants in Vietnam said the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was relevant to their business.

Sixty-three percent of Vietnamese companies cited CPTPP as having a positive impact on their business, while 35% said there had been no impact. 

Meanwhile, 46 percent of firms in Asia-Pacific said the CPTPP trade deal was relevant for them and 48 percent expected it to have a positive impact on their business.

Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said at a recent meeting that the CPTPP would be the backbone of international economic and trade commitments for Vietnamese businesses, despite some changes from its predecessor, the now-defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

The CPTPP is considered a better option for Vietnam and 10 other partner countries, after the US departure from the TPP, he noted. 

Conducted by HSBC Commercial Banking, the report examined sentiment and expectations towards international trade in 26 countries and territories, including Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, India, the UAE, the UK and the US, among others.
VNA

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