Monday, November 14, 2016

TPP or not, Vietnam continues integration: Minister

Vietnam will continue its reform to improve business and investment environment to support enterprises and negotiate other agreement whether US president-elect Donald Trump thwarts the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or not, according to the Minister of Trade and Industry Tran Tuan Anh.
Donald Trump, who opposes the TPP trade pact, has won the US presidential election, and many experts said the Republican victory will put an end to this trade agreement.
The minister told the press on the sideline of the ongoing National Assembly session that Vietnam was consistent with its point of view and policy in the international integration. The TPP was one of the free trade deals Vietnam agreed to participate in, but it will proceed with other free trade agreements (FTAs) to create opportunities for companies to fuel economic growth.

Workers processing wood products at SAHABAK JSC. in Bac Kan province
The minister said it was too early to predict the future of TPP, and Vietnam is ready for integration with or without TPP.
If the TPP agreement continues to be implemented favorably, it will bring many benefits to Vietnam in many sectors. Vietnam’s key export products like textile, garment, footwear, and seafood would likely gain breakthroughs in export value to the US, Japan and Canada. On the other hand, if the TPP was not approved, Vietnam still has other export markets, Anh said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh told the Vietnam Summit 2016 in Ho Chi Minh City early this month that with Vietnam’s signing the TPP agreement, the country hoped to tighten trade ties with Asia Pacific countries and create more business opportunities for Vietnam and other TPP members.
Therefore, Vietnam looks forwards to the ratification of the trade deal by all member countries, including the US.
He said if the TPP is not passed due to any reasons, it will be considered a setback, as countries spent much time and effort on the negotiation process. However, he also noted that besides the TPP, Vietnam has concluded FTAs with many other partners like the European Union (EU) and the Eurasia Economic Union.
Vietnam and other ASEAN nations are preparing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership FTAs. In addition, members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum are negotiating a FTA in the region.
Also at the summit, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said 10 FTAs including Vietnam as a signatory had come into force. One FTA will become into effect soon and several others are on the negotiating table.
Hai stressed that with or without the trade deal, Vietnam’s economic policy towards international integration will remain unchanged.
Hai said before negotiating the TPP, Vietnam had taken part in multilateral organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO). Vietnam’s business environment has been improved and the nation has stepped up investment restructuring, encouraged the private sector and strengthened management of public debt to pursue sustainable growth.
According to economist Ngo Tri Long, in the global trend, no country can stand alone. Vietnam should prepare the best plan to deal with worst senarios and should not totally depend on the TPP.
In another development, Japan’s lower house of parliament last week passed the contentious free trade deal.
President Barack Obama championed the 12-nation deal saying it would enable the United States to set the global trade agenda in the face of Chinese increasing economic clout.
Besides Japan and the US, the TPP includes 10 other countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. If it came into full force it would account for an enormous 40 per cent of the global economy.
Source: VNA


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