A ministerial meeting of 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) opened in Singapore on May 19 morning.

Vietnam’s delegation to this meeting is headed by Tran Quoc Khanh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade and head of the Government’s negotiation delegation on international trade and economic issues.

Prior to the ministerial meeting, the chief negotiators and key experts from the 12 TPP members, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam, met in Ho Chi Minh City from May 12-15. They focused discussions on resolving tough remaining issues in such areas as goods and services market access packages, intellectual property, investment, environment, state-owned enterprises and financial services.

The above issues will be further discussed at plenary and bilateral meetings held within the framework of the May 19-20 ministerial meeting.

Kyodo News of Japan quoted Akira Amari, Japan's minister in charge of TPP negotiations, as sayig at a press conference in Japan on May 16 that the 12 countries would “start off by assessing progress and scrutinizing (outstanding issues)” in Singapore.

While TPP advocates are hoping for an early conclusion of the pact, trade observers said this time’s ministerial meeting would mainly be an opportunity for the countries to assess how much headway has been made by Japan and the US, the two biggest among the 12 TPP economies, in dealing with tariffs on Japanese farm products and US autos.-VNA