New TPP round begins in Vietnam

(VOV) - Negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement began a new round of talks in HCM City on May 12, aiming to reach a deal ahead of a ministerial meeting to be held in Singapore on May 19-20.

During the four-day gathering, chief negotiators will address pending issues such as import tariffs on farm produce, intellectual property rights, and State-owned business restructuring.

The trade pact is being negotiated by 12 countries, namely Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam.

new tpp round begins in vietnam hinh 0
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang (first from left) attended a previous ministerial meeting on TPP (Photo:VNE)

At the February 2014 round, TPP member states failed to reach an agreement due to US-Japan differences over Tokyo’s policy of protecting its market for beef, rice, and other agricultural products.

However, experts expect new progress will be made in HCM City this time, after both the US and Japan settled their differences in April.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade says Vietnam has so far joined 19 rounds of talks and four ministerial meetings. Member states have yet to reach agreement on nearly 20 areas, including the opening of the commodity market, the code of conduct, intellectual property, the environment, and ecommerce.

When the TPP is signed, due later this year, it will facilitate trade and investment liberalisation. The trade pact will press businesses to revise their strategies to meet the requirement of deep international integration.

Alongside the TPP, Vietnam hopes to complete negotiations of free trade agreements with the European Union and the Customs Union of Russia-Belarus and Kazakhstan this year.