Vietnam takes advantage of staples when joining TPP hinh anh 1Processing tra fish for exports (Photo: VNA)
Can Tho (VNA) - Vietnam aims to make the most of its key export products such as farm produce, seafood and garment-textiles when joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

According to Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s Director in Can Tho, Vo Hung Dung, this will be an opportunity for Vietnam’s farm produce and seafood to accee major TPP markets with preferential tariff.

However, countries are utilising technical barriers and sanitary and phytosanitary measures to prevent Vietnamese farm produce from reaching markets.

Besides, Vietnam must remove tariff lines for all products, including farm produce, said Nguyen Anh Tuan, editor-in-chief of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam’s International Studies Magazine under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The tariff reduction will allow more goods imported from TPP countries into Vietnam with competitive prices, he added.

This is particularly worrisome for farm produce, he said, citing sugar import taxes as an example. Vietnam currently applies a 5 percent tariff on sugar from ASEAN members, but up to 40 percent from non-ASEAN countries and TPP-involved parties.

Regarding the seafood sector, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers said 40 percent of Vietnamese seafood was shipped to TPP countries in 2013. The US accounted for over 20 percent and Japan for over 17 percent.

Japan is the main importer of Vietnamese tuna, but the current tuna tariff stands at 6.4 to 7.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association said it hoped the TPP agreement would help the sector earn 30 billion USD in export revenue by 2020 and 55 billion USD in 2030.

The TPP will eliminate current tariff rates of 3.5-57.4 percent to zero percent for Vietnamese footwear products. The sector is generating jobs for 600,000 workers. This is expected to reach a million once the TPP deal goes into effect.

Additionally, deeper involvement in the global value chains will help the footwear industry avoid trade fraud and protect intellectual property for big brands, an expert said.

Mutual benefits from the trade pact are extremely huge – especially increasing relations between investors inside and outside the TPP.

Vietnam is expected to benefit most from the pact, as it is increasing trade with the US and Japan – the biggest TPP markets.-VNA