Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Businesses in the agriculture sector, especially breeding, will be most vulnerable to the effects of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with bigger partners.

However, the firms have two years left for restructuring and improving their competitiveness after the signing of the FTAs and TPP, said Luong Hoang Thai, head of the Multilateral Trade Policies Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Thai told a conference to provide information on some new FTAs, in Hanoi on December 18 that the TPP has been in the last period for legal review before the official signing. The TPP has high standards in the open market which could bring in opportunities for participating countries.

In particular, Vietnam could have access to leading partners in the bloc such as the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea. However, the opportunities could only be obtained if Vietnam meets the requirements of origin in the garment and textile sector, for example.

It is for this reason that the country should review all sectors to take advantages of the pacts. In addition, Vietnam should also make changes to meet commercial standards under the TPP, thus creating a facilitated business environment.

Sharing the ideas, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said a range of FTAs which Vietnam has signed with big countries will have a huge impact on the country's export structure and macro-economic control. It will be an opportunity for the country to complete and improve mechanisms as well as enhancing transparency.

Khanh said the pacts will bring considerable challenges to State management agencies and enterprises.

He emphasised that policymakers should change their way of thinking as all of the management will be based on these committed pacts.

However, recent statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that around 75 percent of local businesses do not have knowledge about the FTA.

The Deputy Minister said the rate is normal as Vietnamese firms have been operating in several sectors which will not be affected by the pacts. The companies have not participated in export activities but have been content to produce for the local market.

The reality has not been seen in Vietnam but other countries. In the European Union, around 50 percent to 60 percent of businesses in the region do not pay attention to signing of international trade pacts, he added.

"Local enterprises should have time and pay attention to FTAs as the country has deeply integrated into the world economy. This could help them take advantages of the FTAs," he said.

The conference attracted participation of representatives from 10 cities and provinces as well as businesses.

In 2015, Vietnam signed four important pacts with big markets, including TPP, FTAs with the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the Republic of Korea.-VNA