Conference looks at making full use of CPTPP

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade have held a two-day conference with a view of helping firms understand more about commitments in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

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As part of activities within MoIT’s plan for implementation of the agreement this year, the July 9-10 event offers a chance for businesses to find solutions to the difficulties they face on the threshold of deeper integration.

According to ministry figures, less than 40 of Vietnam’s 63 cities and provinces have trade relations with CPTPP member countries.

Ngo Chung Khanh, Deputy Head of the MoIT’s Multilateral Trade Policy Department, said the CPTPP opens up huge opportunities for Vietnam’s exports but the country is yet to make full use of them.

Trade between Vietnam and CPTPP member countries hit US$77.4 billion last year, up 3.9% year-on-year. Vietnam posted a surplus of US$1.6 billion overall but a deficit of US$900 million with these countries.

Participants at the conference have already focused on overviews of import and export taxes and instructions on how to identify and meet import and export tax commitments, rules of origin, and customs commitments in order to enjoy preferential taxes under the agreement.

Nguyen Son Tra, Deputy Head of the WTO and Trade Negotiation Division at the MoIT, told the gathering about CPTPP member countries’ import tax commitments.

Member countries have committed to eliminating tariffs on about 78-95% of the tax lines Vietnam is subject to. For common commodities, the roadmap will take five to ten years. At the end of the roadmap, 98-100% of tax lines will have been eliminated.

Many of Vietnam’s key export items to the CPTPP are entitled to 0% tax rates right after the agreement comes into effect or after three to five years, Tra said.

Participants have also focused discussions on services and investment, especially the obligations and basic principles of market opening, removing barriers facing services and investment, and commitments concerning investment promotion and protection.

The CPTPP, one of the largest trade pacts in the world, covers 13.5% of global GDP and a market of about 500 million people. It gathers 11 countries, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

It officially took effect in Vietnam on January 14, 2019.
VNA