Competitive capacity key to gaining benefits from CPTPP and FTAs: experts

Friday, Apr 09, 2021 09:03

Local businesses need to further enhance their competitive capacity to gain benefits from the CPTPP and other FTAs. — Photo VOV.VN

Poor competitive capacity will hinder businesses from gaining benefits from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This statement was made at a workshop held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Ha Noi on Tuesday.

The workshop aimed to evaluate issues in the implementation of this agreement and conduct recommendations for the Government and business.

Two years since the CPTPP came into effect, Viet Nam had seen strong growth in exports to some CPTPP member countries, but not all.

Speaking at the workshop, Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of VCCI, said that many businesses affirmed that their poor competitiveness was hindering them from gaining opportunities from the CPTPP and new agreements.

Five years ago, the obstacles remain the managerial skills of State agencies, such as a lack of information about commitments, delays, and inflexibility in implementing the CPTPP and other Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

The impact of some technical factors also had negative effects on businesses, such as rules of origin, and unfavourable commitments of FTAs, according to Loc.

He attributed the major problem to the competitive capacity of businesses themselves.

According to a report compiled by VCCI, three quarters of businesses said they were planning to revive their business plans to take advantage of the CPTPP and FTAs.

The plans aim to consolidate and improve the competitiveness of businesses. The second step is to calculate how to take full use of opportunities from the CPTPP and FTAs. Finally, they have to set up plans in preparation for long-range opportunities.

However, in a VCCI survey of 8,600 local enterprises, up to 70 per cent of them had little knowledge of the CPTPP. And 25 per cent of the enterprises had some knowledge of the CPTPP.

This survey has also pointed out that 84 per cent of the enterprises lacked information about the commitments in the free trade agreement.

The survey shows that with complicated FTAs and CPTPP, it is necessary to provide more in-depth, detailed and useful information for businesses.

Phan Huu Minh, General Secretary of Thai Nguyen Business Association, said participating in the CPTPP, enterprises should strictly comply with general regulations, and study market information and rules of origin with a view to preparing their production plans and enhancing capacity.

Vu Tien Loc said that programmes and activities to support businesses should focus on enhancing the competitive capacity of local products, and trade promotion.

He added businesses needed to be more proactive in seeking opportunities, studying commitments under the CPTPP as well as improving competitiveness of their products. These factors were key to taking advantage of opportunities from global integration.

Nguyen Thu Trang, director of the VCCI’s centre for WTO and economic integration, said: “There is a lot of information about the CPTPP, and answers on the VCCI’s website. If businesses need information, we can share it freely, however, only a small number of businesses want to find out about it. They are ignoring the impacts of the CPTPP and FTAs."

Nguyen Cam Trang, an expert from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said local businesses had tried to improve quality of agricultural produce. However, local businesses still faced difficulties due to their small-scale production.

Joining the CPTPP will help businesses improve and enhance exports, forcing them to raise product quality and competitive capacity.

To take advantage of the CPTPP, the Government needed to review relevant legal regulations and improve the business climate, as well as provide more information in terms of markets and business plans. — VNS

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