Processing shrimp for exports (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – A workshop was held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 28 to raise awareness of free trade agreements (FTA) among businesses in southern localities.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, for example, is hoped to become a new economic cooperation model in the region in the 21st century, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said.

Once ratified by parliaments of the 12 countries, the TPP will create the biggest ever free trade area with the total gross domestic product (GDP) of 28 trillion USD, accounting for 40 percent and 30 percent of global GDP and trade, respectively, he added.

In addition to traditional fields such as goods, investment and services, the pact will focus on non-traditional sectors such as trade competition, environment and labour, he said, noting that the TPP will cover new issues such as State-run businesses, e-commerce, and supply chain.

The common principle of the deal is reducing the tariff line to zero percent, he said, adding that Vietnam committed to eliminating nearly 90 percent of tariff lines.

In the context of full economic integration, experts said Vietnamese businesses should study commitments relating to their commodities such as customs, rule of origin, technical and defence measures.

Vice Chairman of the HCM City’s People’s Committee Le Van Khoa said the local authority will serve as an important address for businesses to get update about the FTA.

He suggested entrepreneurs have thorough understanding about the FTA’s impacts on Vietnam to devise proper investment and business strategies.

The TPP started out as P-4 with Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and Mexico. The US joined in September 2008 and Vietnam in early 2009. The deal now brings together 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam.

The completion of the world’s largest free trade pact on October 5 in Atlanta, the US, has elicited positive responses from many countries.-VNA