Hanoi hosted a conference on November 15 discussing the TPP Agreement and Vietnam’s involvement.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh outlined the TPP’s negotiation process and basic requirements regarding tax cuts, garments, service liberalisation, investment, Government procurement, intellectual property, trade, environment, labour, trade unions, State-owned enterprises, and e-commerce.
He pointed out opportunities and challenges that could face Vietnamese businesses as a result of implementing the agreement.
Experts noted Vietnam can benefit from how the TPP will cut taxes and remove barriers against services and exports. This trade liberalisation would be a boon to Vietnamese clothes, footwear, and other key commodities in major markets like the US.
Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association Vice Chairperson Le Tien Cuong summarised the garment sector’s views on the agreement, concurring with the presented opportunities, but noting new regulations governing origins, taxes, and competition will also introduce new challenges.
Economist Vo Tri Thanh said Vietnam could benefit by as much as 5% from the agreement, compared to the average 1–2% enjoyed by other parties. But these estimates do not consider the impact of domestic institutional reform.
Seven of the 11 negotiating parties already have free trade relations with Vietnam. Most of the TPP’s opportunities come from the remaining US, Canadian, Mexican, and Peruvian markets.
Experts warned opening Vietnamese markets to the US and Japan could hurt its domestic automobile industry. Lowering barriers to American meat and poultry and Australian sugar might also threaten Vietnamese agriculture.
Deputy Minister Khanh said as the TPP covers a wide range of areas, it is important to introduce transparent policies to bring huge benefits to domestic businesses.