CPTPP to serve as motivation to improve for Vietnamese firms

22:00 | 07/03/2018
Despite the withdrawal of the US, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is still considered the greatest free trade agreement in history.
cptpp to serve as motivation to improve for vietnamese firms
The eleven members of the CPTPP

The CPTPP will be a powerful gathering of economies in the region which could bring practical benefits and advantages as well as strengthen co-operation across the Asia-Pacific.

According to Luong Hoang Thai, director general of the Multilateral Trade Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), participating in the CPTPP will bring great benefits to Vietnam. The CPTPP will contribute to exports to large markets like Japan, Australia, Canada, and Mexico, as well as attract foreign investment into sectors that need it the most.

“The agreement is also strong motivation for Vietnam to reform its institutions as well as create an open and transparent investment and business climate. This is will be to our long-term benefit,” stated Thai.

After the withdrawal of the US, the remaining eleven members tirelessly worked to create a new one, which basically inherited the content of the TPP but allows country members to postpone certain obligations.

“Among the postponed obligations, other countries allowed Vietnam exemption from certain important commitments related to intellectual property, investment, governmental procurements, and financial and telecommunications services,” Thai added.

On the other hand, the director general confirmed that without the US, the scale of the CPTPP is smaller than the TPP. However, this agreement still brings significant benefits for all members. It opens up a new market which is making up 13.5 per cent of the global GDP and covering 500 million people.

This high-standard agreement does not only mention traditional content like the removal of tariffs and technical barriers, opening up the services market or safeguarding intellectual property, but also holds stipulations on new (untraditional) issues like labour, environment, governmental procurement, and state-owned enterprises. CPTPP also provides requirements and high standards on transparency as well as outlines a dispute resolution mechanism.

“The CPTPP is also a foundation to further strengthen co-operation in the region and remain open for the US to return and other countries to entern,” emphasised Thai.

However, in order to seize these advantages, Vietnamese firms should take initiative to access information on the CPTPP to understand the commitments of Vietnam and partners, especially tariff incentives.

“The whole English and Vietnamese versions of the CPTPP have been uploaded on the MoIT portal,” announced Thai.

Additionally, Vietnamese firms should change their approach to business and consider competitive pressure as motivation for innovation and development. The CPTPP creates opportunities for enterprises that actively adapt to changes in the business environment and international integration. They should adjust their mid- or long-term business plans to access potential markets of the CPTPP.

Furthermore, businesses should further co-operate with other members of the CPTPP to attract foreign direct investment to Vietnam as well as take advantage of capital resources and technology transfer from large corporations. This is a good opportunity for Vietnamese firms to take part in regional and global supply chains.

The signing ceremony of the CPTPP will take place tomorrow (March 8) in Chile. Then, the agreement will be submitted to the National Assembly to be reviewed, approved, and implemented.

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By Nguyen Huong

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