The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, once signed, will offer both opportunities and challenges to Vietnam’s economic sectors, especially garments and textiles, footwear and farm produce.

The issue was highlighted at a recent seminar jointly held by the Saigon Economic Times and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Diep Thanh Kiet, Deputy President of the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association, the TPP is expected to bring an increasingly transparent business environment, but the question is whether local businesses can adapt themselves to the new environment and seize the opportunities.

Le Quang Hung, Chairman of Saigon Garment Manufacturing Trade JSC (Garmex Saigon), said during the 2015-2016 period when several trade agreements signed by Vietnam come into effect, businesses will have favourable conditions to select playgrounds suitable with their capacity.

Apart from opportunities to expand the market and seek suitable partners, businesses will have to face a fierce competition in terms of material supply and labourers, Hung said.

Regarding farm produce, Van Duc Muoi, President of the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, pointed to the fact that this is one of the most contentious issues and it will be difficult for Vietnam’s agricultural products to take advantage of reduced tariff in the context of heavy protection and technical barriers imposed by other TPP member countries.

Other economists at the seminar urged Vietnamese businesses to put forth suitable strategies so as to give an impulse to the country’s economy following the signing of the TPP.-VNA