TPP or not, VN will continue integration

Monday, Nov 14, 2016 09:34

Workers process wood products at SAHABAK Joint Stock Company in Bac Kan Province’s Thanh Binh Industrial Zone. Vietnamese exports may suffer if the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not approved, however, the Government should prepare the best plan to deal with the worst scenarios and should not totally depend on the TPP. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

Viet Nam 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 would put an end to this trade agreement.

The minister told the press on the sideline of the ongoing National Assembly that Viet Nam was consistent with its point of view and pocily in the international integration. The TPP was one of the free trade deals Viet Nam agreed to participate in, but it would proceed with other free trade agreements (FTAs) to create opportunities for companies to fuel economic growth.

The minister said it was too early to predict the future of TPP, and the country was ready for integration with or without TPP.

If the TPP aggrement continued to be implemented favourably, it would bring many benefits to Viet Nam in many sectors. The country’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, Viet Nam still had other export markets, Anh said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh told Vietnam Summit 2016 in HCM City early this month that with Viet Nam’s signing the TPP agreement, the country hoped to tighten trade ties with Asia Pacific countries and create more business opportunities for Viet Nam and other TPP members.

Therefore, Viet Nam looks forwards to the ratification of the trade deal by all member countries, including the US.

He said if the TPP was not passed due to any reasons, it would be considered a setback, as countries spent much time and effort on the negotiation process. He however also noted that besides the TPP, Viet Nam had concluded FTAs with many other partners like the European Union (EU) and the Eurasia Economic Union.

Viet Nam 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 Viet Nam 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, Viet Nam’s economic policy towards international integration would remain unchanged.

Hai said before negotiating the TPP, Viet Nam had taken part in multilateral organisations such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The domestic 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. Viet Nam 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 on Thursday 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 Viet Nam. If it came into full force it would account for an enormous 40 per cent of the global economy. — VNS

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