NS BlueScope Vietnam focuses on innovation and sustainability in CPTPP

10:21 | 10/05/2019
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is knocking at the doors of every business including the country’s private sector. With Colorbond® – the high-class pre-painted steel brand under Australia-based BluseScope® and NS BlueScope Vietnam, innovation and sustainability are considered the keys to enhance its competitive edge.
ns bluescope vietnam focuses on innovation and sustainability in cptpp
Vo Minh Nhut, president of NS BlueScope Vietnam counsels the government about solutions to improve the competitive edge of private businesses

Competitiveness enhancement a must

The CPTPP, which entered into force in Vietnam on January 14, 2019, includes 11 countries, representing about 13 per cent of the global GDP, forming a giant market of nearly 500 million people.

The CPTPP opens up opportunities for Vietnam’s more than 700,000 private businesses that are accounting for 51 per cent of the country’s overall labour, contributing more than 40 per cent of the GDP and 30 per cent of the state budget.

At a symposium held as part of Vietnam Economic Forum (ViEF) 2019 where Colorbond participated as a facilitator, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh highlighted that the proactivity of businesses in bringing the CPTPP to life is essential to determine their success or failure.

ns bluescope vietnam focuses on innovation and sustainability in cptpp
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visiting Colorbond’s exhibition booth at ViEF 2019

Sharing the same view, Vo Minh Nhut, president of NS BlueScope Vietnam, offered a series of recommendations that could help to boost the private sector’s competitiveness under trade barriers and the CPTPP.

In particular, he suggested three main solutions, including more proactivity on the side of enterprises in revamping their competitive advantages and seeking for partnership, investing in or collaborating in the field of research and development (R&D) to facilitate innovation and generate added values for products, and raising business standards towards sustainability, especially in the field of intellectual property, environment, and labour.

The CPTPP is scheduled to remove 95 per cent of the current trade tariffs among partners. Vietnam can expect immediate benefits, especially in export activities, including the elimination of textiles and footwear tariffs by the majority of CPTPP members upon entry into force.

As for the steel industry, Nhut pointed out that it is the downstream rather than the upstream and midstream segments that will benefit from the CPTPP. “The CPTPP’s markets are not key importers of Vietnam’s steel. The majority of steel products are imposed with low or near-zero tax. Nevertheless, nations have their own policies to protect domestic manufacturing through tax barriers against anti-dumping, trade defence tax, anti-avoidance and anti-fraud tax, technical barriers or national security reasons and these barriers are outside the tariff schedule of the CPTPP,” he emphasised.

When it came to suggestions for the government, Vo Minh Nhut proposed the promotion of communication and training initiatives, especially establishing a comprehensive, detailed information portal about taxes and markets in line with the CPTPP’s roadmap.

He also suggested updating the legal system and fostering legal practices in line with the CPTPP and creating a fair playground for businesses, as well as creating a favourable mechanism for businesses to build a responsible supply chain.

ns bluescope vietnam focuses on innovation and sustainability in cptpp
The VinFast factory in Haiphong used Colorbond for long-lasting durability in the severe maritime environment

Innovation and sustainability as the keys

In light of opportunities and pitfalls exposed by the CPTPP, businesses should develop a clear-cut strategy to leverage all potential opportunities. Colorbond® considers innovation and sustainability the keys to open the door to CPTPP markets.

As proof, NS BlueScope Vietnam keeps researching and developing advanced technologies and products with the aid of the Group’s R&D centres and partnership with experienced players in the industry, thereby breaking barriers to export prices. The Australia-based steel brand was the first to launch the zinc-aluminium alloy coated steel in Vietnam in 2005. It will also be the first and only to introduce ActivateTM technology integrated in the Zincalume® and Colorbond® product ranges in 2019, challenging the most severe environments such as marine and polluted industrial environments.

ns bluescope vietnam focuses on innovation and sustainability in cptpp
The Coca-Cola factory adopting Colorbond achieved the US’ LEED green building certificate

Apart from boosting the competitive edge of its products, NS BlueScope Vietnam focuses on developing sustainable values in line with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations and the CPTPP’s strict standards through five main pillars: Health and safety for employees, clients and shareholders; Eliminate greenhouse effect with a record of 3 million kg of CO2 cut down, equal to the exhaust emission of 1,200 car in a year; Increase female employees and promote women to managerial positions; Commitment to transparency and prevention of corruption.

In its journey of being a partner of economic growth, Colorbond® in particular and NS BlueScope Vietnam in general have been translating its unrivalled professional experience and high-quality products into industry advancement.

As said by World Bank lead economist for Vietnam Sebastian Eckardt, delivering commitments under the CPTPP would contribute to promoting transparency and supporting the creation of modern institutions in Vietnam.

By Hoang Anh

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