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Many businesses have no understanding of CPTPP

06/09/2019

A majority of enterprises have little or no understanding of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) that took effect over seven months ago, which prevented them from capitalizing on the pact, heard a forum held in Hanoi City on August 30.

Statistics from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) shows that up to 70% of firms have little or no understanding of the CPTPP, even though about 26% of the surveyed enterprises have started researching the trade agreement.

VCCI’s survey among 8,600 enterprises indicates that 84% of the firms have no information about the pact and 81.4% of them have difficulties learning of the implementation by the State agencies.

Enterprises have yet to proactively learn about the benefits from CPTPP, whereas the State agencies’ provision of information on the pact to support firms remained inadequate.

At the forum discussing opportunities and challenges for Vietnam when joining the CPTPP, representatives said that the ministries’ and departments’ implementation of the CPTPP was slower than required.

The activities of popularizing the CPTPP and providing information about the agreement were carried out slowly as well.

“If firms fail to understand the CPTPP, they may not make the most of the pact,” said Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of the World Trade Organization Center under VCCI.

Speaking at a recent workshop on taking advantage of the CPTPP, Nguyen Anh Duong, head of the Macroeconomic Policy Department at the Central Institute for Economic Management, said that Vietnam’s exports to CPTPP members were still much lower than expected.

Although the CPTPP came into force in January, it was not until June 26 the Government issued a decree on the execution of the multilateral trade pact. Meanwhile, Australia was the first country to publicize all its tax policies and trade agreements related to the pact.

Besides this, the country’s goods shipments to some CPTPP members were reported to be falling significantly. For example, exports to Australia dropped by 15.3% in the first five months of the year and by 17.4% in the January-June period.

Ngo Chung Khanh, deputy head of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department at the trade ministry, said that only footwear and steel products have made gains from the CPTPP. The textile and garment sector was expected to benefit CPTPP a lot, but it utilized a mere 0.03% of the opportunity.

Dr Vo Tri Thanh, former vice president of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said that it is high time for enterprises to change their mindset and learn about the CPTPP markets and benefits offered by the pact to join the CPTPP playground and seize more business opportunities.

Source: The Sai Gon Times