The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is expected to have a significant impact on Vietnamese businesses operating in the garment and textile industry.

The post-TPP landscape was revealed by the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) at a seminar in Tien Giang province on June 7 which brought together 40 local enterprises and others from the Mekong Delta provinces of Long An, Vinh Long, Ben Tre, An Giang and Dong Thap.

The seminar aimed to create a foundation for state management agencies at the grassroots level to roll out long-term strategies while helping enterprises make the best use of the multilateral free trade agreement.

According to VITAS, the TPP will thrust forward Vietnam ’s economy thanks to import tax incentives pledged by TPP members for Vietnam ’s major exports, including garments and textiles.

However, in order to benefit from such incentives, Vietnamese garment and textile products have to satisfy the “Yarn Forward” ROO (Rule of Origin), which requires TPP nations to use TPP member-produced yarn in their textiles to have duty-free access.

This greatly affects Vietnam’s garment and textile industry as 90 percent of materials used in the sector are imported from foreign countries, with most being non-TPP members.

Participants at the event agreed on the need to boost support industries to ensure local supply of materials and reduce dependence on imports while improving the quality of the design sector, in a bid to ensure the stable and sustainable development of the garment and textile industry.

They proposed the Government update strategic orientations, build exclusive policies for the industry and zone off industrial zones specialising in garments and textiles, with a focus on the dyeing sector.

Apart from expanding foreign markets, especially the US , it is necessary to target local consumption, they said.

The garment and textile sector has become Vietnam ’s spearhead industry with a large amount of export revenue among other export items.

With nearly 4,000 businesses, which generate jobs for about 2.5 million people, the sector created a revenue of nearly 20 billion USD and earned over 17 billion USD from exports last year.

The US has become the largest importer of Vietnamese garments and textiles, accounting for about 50 percent of the country’s total exports. It is followed by Europe, Japan and the Republic of Korea.-VNA