Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly held a workshop in Hanoi on May 23 to inform enterprises on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang from the WTO Centre said that many businesses are pinning high hopes on the RCEP as it will create a giant market accounting for 50 percent of the global population. Moreover, China and India, who are partners in the deal, account for 30 percent of the global GDP and 28 percent of the world’s total trade volume.

In addition, the majority of consumers from RCEP countries – excluding those from Japan, Australia, and New Zealand – do not have so high standards, while their demand for strong Vietnamese products such as farm produce and processed food is quite high, Trang said.

Pham Tuan Anh from the Ministry of Finance, who is a member of the negotiation team, said that there are big expectations on the agreement, including import-export opportunities, as tariff incentives will be improved, customs-related procedures harmonised, and non-tariff barriers controlled.

According to Anh, markets for several services such as logistics and telecommunications will be opened up.

Negotiations on the RCEP between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand began in 2013 and are in the final stage. Once completed, the agreement will create a large free trade region covering Vietnam’s various big export partners.–VNA