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CPTPP not proving a hit across the board for VN

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Garment industry has faced difficulty in taking tariff preference from CPTPP. Viet Nam News/ANN

CPTPP not proving a hit across the board for VN

Vietnam has been unable to gain export growth to all Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) member countries, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has said.

A year since the CPTPP came into effect, Vietnam had seen strong growth in exports to some CPTPP member countries, but not all.

Last year, export value surged by 28.2 per cent year-on-year to $3.86 billion to Canada, 26.8 per cent to $2.84 billion to Mexico, 20.5 per cent to $1 billion to Chile and 40 per cent to $350 million to Peru.

Vietnam had a slight increase at 1.1 per cent in export value to Singapore and faced export value reduction to some other CPTPP countries, such as Australia (down 12 per cent to $3.5 billion) and Malaysia (down three per cent to $3.3 billion).

Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) chairman Vu Tien Loc said the first impact of the CPTPP for Vietnam was to accelerate reform in institutions, meeting requirements of the global economy and trade.

However, in a VCCI survey of 8,600 local enterprises, up to 70 per cent of them had little knowledge of the CPTPP.

This survey has also pointed out that 84 per cent of the enterprises lacked information about the commitments in the free trade agreement.

Meanwhile, textile, footwear, fisheries and wooden products were considered commodities that would have a lot of opportunities to boost exports thanks to tariff rules in the agreement, but it hasn’t turned out that way.

Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group director-general Le Tien Truong said the textile and garment industry has not taken full advantages from the CPTPP to increase exports because of issues meeting rules of origin in the agreement.

This agreement requires certification on local origin from yarn onward to enjoy preferential tariffs, while the domestic textile and garment industry annually imports about 99 per cent of cotton and 80 per cent of fabric for its production, he said.

Last year, the textile and garment industry spent $13.3 billion on fabric imports, up four per cent year-on-year, $2.4 billion on yarn imports and $2.6 billion on cotton imports, Import-Export Department data shows.

The industry achieved a total export value of $39 billion last year, lower than expected.

Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association chairman Vu Duc Giang admitted that importing input materials has made local producers struggle to take advantage of free trade agreements like the CPTPP.

Giang was quoted by the Dau tu (Investment) newspaper as saying that the biggest challenge for the textile industry was input materials, because it still has to import materials for annual production.

The industry needs the government’s help to build industrial clusters on production of materials for the textile and garment industry, he said.

Viet Nam News/Asia News Network

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