US’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership may make certain impacts on
Vietnam’s short-term plans but will not affect the country’s long-term goals
and integration direction, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade
Do Thang Hai.
Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai - Photo: VNA
In an interview granted to
the Vietnam News Agency, the Deputy
Minister, who is also secretary general of the inter-sectoral steering
committee for international integration, stressed that the TPP is only one
among many multi-lateral cooperative frameworks that Vietnam joins as part of
its international process.
He said the country joined
TPP with the main goals of restructuring its economic institutions, accessing
external resources necessary for restructuring and sustainable growth,
expanding export markets and increasing access to supply chains.
The delay of TPP surely will
affect those goals but it will not change Vietnam’s integration trend and
direction, Deputy Minister Hai said, noting that the renovation and reform of
economic institutions are an inevitable need and the policy of the Vietnamese
Party and State, as seen in resolutions of recent National Party Congresses and
the Government’s National Strategy for Sustainable Development for 2011-2020.
Therefore, Vietnam will continue to proactively reform its economic
institutions, and the TPP only serves as a catalyst for the reform to take
Hai pointed out that in
terms of both extent and scale, TPP is an important free trade agreement but
not the only one, adding that Vietnam has signed and enforced 10 other FTAs,
concluded negotiations on one FTA and is negotiating 4 others. Those FTAs
involve almost all main trade partners of Vietnam, such as the ASEAN, EU,
Japan, Russia, China, the Republic of Korea and Australia. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s
trade and investment ties with the US are covered by a bilateral trade
agreement (BTA), a framework agreement on trade and investment (TIFA) and WTO
According to the Deputy
Minister, while the possible failure or delay of the TPP may weaken the driving
force for growth, the past negotiations for the deal have already created a
momentum of institutional reform in Vietnam, and the process will continue
regardless of whether the TPP is enforced or not.
comparative advantages in terms of production costs, geographical location,
geo-political conditions and signed FTAs with major economic powers, such as
the Eurasia Economic Union, EU, Japan and the RoK, continue to help promote
economic-trade growth and attract foreign investors.
Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai
said in order to make full use of FTAs, the MoIT has outlined six groups of
solutions, one of which is to enhance the knowledge and consensus of society,
particularly enterprises and business people, about international agreements,
especially opportunities, challenges and requirements when joining and
implementing new-generation FTAs.
The legal system should be
perfected and law enforcement capacity strengthened to ensure the enforcement
of FTAs, while key officials of all sectors and administrations at all levels
as well as business executives, lawyers and prosecutors should receive training
in international laws.
A group of solutions focus
on increasing the competition capacity of the national economy, of each sector,
each locality and each enterprise. The State apparatus should be reformed to
enhance its operation effectiveness and efficiency. The investment and business
climate must be further improved along with perfecting institutions of the
socialist-oriented market economy.
External relation work
should be accelerated to enhance the country’s prestige and position and deepen
ties with foreign partners.
Social affairs should
receive due attention when enforcing new-generation FTAs, especially the
building of a full legal framework for labour relations and issues arising
during FTA enforcement, along with policies guaranteeing social support for
disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in society.
Environmental issues are
also very important when carrying out FTA commitments, calling for a complete
set of regulations on corporate social responsibilities for consumers and the
environment, and ensure the effective and economical use of natural resources.