Farm exports face CPTPP challenges

Friday, Dec 14, 2018 17:50

Vietnamese farm exports could face barriers in CPTPP member countries. — Photo

Though the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will reduce many tariffs to zero in member countries, Vietnamse farm exports could face non-tariff barriers, according to local experts.

Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) under the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD), said that one of the major challenges for Viet Nam’s agricultural exports was that CPTPP members could raise non-tariff barriers with stricter controls.

To access CPTPP markets, Vietnamese products such as rice, coffee, pepper and cashew must overcome technical barriers and food safety, Tuan said.

If local enterprises failed to focus on these issues, their products would not gain access to CPTPP countries, he said.

Other challenges for local businesses include ensuring quality, production, labour management and the strict standards of CPTPP countries.

The agricultural sector needed to speed up its restructuring process to promote the development of concentrated production regions, the application of advanced science and technology and the implementation of technical, food safety and quality standards according to commitments made under the CPTPP, Tuan said.

Tran Duy Khanh, general secretary of the Viet Nam Poultry Association, said that products like pork, beef, chicken and eggs would face the biggest competition from Canada and Australia.

The CPTPP with 11 member countries is scheduled to come into force late this month. The countries have agreed to remove almost all import tariffs and implement service and investment liberalisation based on local laws.

Viet Nam’s key export commodities include rubber, timber, coffee, cocoa, cashew nuts, pepper, rice, vegetables and seafood.

Nguyen Ton Quyen, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Wood and Forest Products Association (VIFORES), told that the CPTPP would provide more opportunities than challenges for the timber industry.

For many years, Viet Nam has exported large volumes of wood and wooden products to other CPTPP countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Canada, Peru and Chile.

The domestic fishery industry will also plan to expand its export markets, especially new markets such as Canada, Peru and Mexico with products such as tuna and shrimp.

According to many experts, Viet Nam’s fruit and vegetable exports would increase, but products shipped to distant markets would face high transportation costs and the risk of damaged goods.

Meanwhile, Viet Nam could increase its exports to China, Thailand and South Korea that already account for a large volume of Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exports and are considering joining the CPTPP. — VNS



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