“Together with CPTPP, RCEP offers ideal economic models”

According to Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, together with other ASEAN countries, Vietnam has a perfect opportunity to become a centre of foreign investment attraction, especially from members of the RCEP.
“Together with CPTPP, RCEP offers ideal economic models” ảnh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh at the RCEP signing ceremony (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement was officially signed on November 15.

Thanks to economic structures that are complementary to each other, the RCEP is a favourable condition for countries and enterprises when it comes into effect, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh told media.

- Could you please tell us the role and participation of Vietnam in the negotiation of the agreement, especially the role of Vietnam as the Chairman of ASEAN in 2020?

The most impressive thing is the unification, the common sharing among countries, to respond in the spirit of the theme of 2020 - "Cohesive and Responsive” ASEAN.

As the Chairman of ASEAN, Vietnam has showed very clearly in each situation and each conference and received consensus and sharing from ASEAN countries as well as partner countries.

The RCEP creates the largest free trade-economic region in the world, accounting for 30 percent of global GDP with 2.2 billion consumers.

The deal has created a new entity and a new model of trade and economy, forming a foundation for a free and fair trade framework to protect the interests of nations, especially developing ones including Vietnam.

Although the target was set early, the RCEP failed to keep its plan many times due to special circumstances and sudden developments. Therefore, one of the 13 ASEAN priority initiatives proposed by Vietnam in 2020 is the conclusion of the negotiation and signing of the RCEP in Hanoi.

In the context of the pandemic, countries could not negotiate directly and they had to switch to the online format. This is not easy to solve technical problems and especially to ensure a balance of interests, thereby finding the common harmony between countries.

Vietnam as the Chairman of ASEAN and other partners have done everything possible to close the deal, making 2020 a historic year when ASEAN signed the free trade agreement with five partner countries of the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

As RCEP signatories believed India would return to the deal in the future, it could make a huge contribution to the overall stability, peace and prosperity of the region.

“Together with CPTPP, RCEP offers ideal economic models” ảnh 2Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh (Photo: VietnamPlus)

- So, what is the meaning of the RCEP agreement for Vietnam and partners?

The first thing to confirm is that it is a free trade economic area on the basis of the free trade framework which has been formed on a large scale.

Especially with such a large scale, together with 15 countries with different economic development levels and complementary economic structures, the deal will offer a very favourable opportunity for countries and enterprises participating in the agreement.

The deal could help restructure and reposition supply chains and global value chains, giving small and medium enterprises the opportunity to calculate and rebuild their strategies to join.

As an open economy and the world's 25th largest exporter, it is a good opportunity for Vietnam to participate in such a changing global supply chain.

Vietnam has no commitments that go beyond the parameters it has within the framework of the existing free trade agreements with partners, especially between the ASEAN bloc, so the minister considered the competitive pressure of goods in the domestic market was not too heavy for businesses and consumers.

In the context of continued reforms, enhancing production capacity and competitiveness, Vietnam’s economy and businesses have favourable conditions in this deal.

As the RCEP's main objectives and foundations are based on harmonisation of origin procedures, trade facilitation and liberalisation, creating a favourable environment to connect economies to increase production capacity and build ASEAN into a key economic region, together with other FTAs such as CPTPP, EVFTA, it will certainly continue to promote Vietnam's reform towards more progress and more positivity.

I can say this is “timing, harmony, convenience’ because at a time when the world is positioning and reorganising supply chains and investment activities are tending to move, Vietnam and other ASEAN member countries have signed the RCEP agreement with important partners.

Therefore, along with other ASEAN countries, Vietnam has a prefect opportunity to become a centre of foreign investment attraction, especially from members of the RCEP as well as other partner countries, thereby enhancing technology capacity, production capacity, labour quality as well as common competitiveness of the country and the region.

- Could you please tell us the leading role of Vietnam as well as the role of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to carry out one of the three pillars of ASEAN in the year Vietnam is the Chairman of ASEAN?

2020 is an impressive and significant year for Vietnam. This year, we play the role as rotating chair of ASEAN and also mark 25 years of Vietnam’s ASEAN membership. This is also a difficult year with special developments, such as geo-politic competition as well as trade conflicts among powers, the COVID-19 pandemic, and common changes in the trend of trade protectionism and unilateralism.

Therefore, from the beginning of 2020, with various work programmes and actions, Vietnam has actively coordinated with ASEAN countries and ASEAN's partners for implementation.

“Together with CPTPP, RCEP offers ideal economic models” ảnh 3The RCEP signing ceremony (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Vietnam as Chairman of ASEAN in 2020 has been successful in the leading role. For example, in the economic pillar, Vietnam’s 13 initiatives have met urgent requirements for a new stage of development in the region.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on Vietnam’s cooperation activities of the ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020, we have successfully implemented eight of the 13 initiatives, significantly contributing to ASEAN as well as the bloc's cooperation with partners.

In 2020, Vietnam has proactively and worked together with other countries to have prompt response to new developments, including issues related to trade war or trade protection and the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Thank you very much!./.


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