On the afternoon of November 12th, at the sixth session of the 14th National Assembly, all of the 469 deputies voted to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This is an important political decision, affirming Vietnam's active role in international integration.
It is known that on March 8th, 2018, in Santiago, Chile, Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade signed the CPTPP and relevant documents with economic ministers of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore.
After the signing, countries would have to carry out domestic legal procedures, including the ratification of the CPTPP in accordance with their domestic law for the agreement to take effect.
The CPTPP coming into operation will contribute to mutual and multilateral benefit sharing among member countries and deepen the relationship between Vietnam and other CPTPP members, especially ones Vietnam has developed strategic partnerships with.
Apart from the advantages, CPTPP involvement also poses challenges in budget revenue, legal framework, and institutions. The opening up of economic activities, accompanied by labour and anti-corruption regulations, requires Vietnam to take the initiative to reform management mechanisms so that it can both comply with international treaties and ensure its own socio-political stability.
On the morning of November 2th, having been authorised by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh presented the report explaining the CPTPP and relevant documents.
Regarding economic opportunities, Deputy Prime Minister emphasised that the markets of the member countries had a large scale, as their total GDP accounted for 13.5 per cent of the global GDP, including Japan as the third largest economy in the world.
Hence, in general, participation in CPTPP is beneficial to Vietnam. According to the study by the Ministry of Planning and Investment in September 2017, the CPTPP could help increase GDP and exports of Vietnam by 1.32 per cent and 4.04 per cent respectively by 2035. Vietnam’s total import turnover might also increase by 3.8 per cent, less than the export growth, so the overall impact on the balance of trade would be favourable.
Domestic products such as pork and chicken might face strong competition from imported products. Other products that can have trouble competing include paper, steel and cars, Minh said.
Regarding investment attraction, the CPTPP commitments on services and investment are expected to help improve the investment environment and attract foreign investment capital.
Also, the CPTPP is thought to create more jobs, raise incomes and contribute to poverty reduction. According to research by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the CPTPP can help increase the total number of jobs per year by 20,000 to 26,000 on average. By 2030, the CPTPP is expected to help reduce the number of poor people living on $5.5 per day by 0.6 million.
The other six countries which have ratified the pact are Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Mexico and Singapore.
The four countries are still to ratify it are Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Peru.