Vietnam Joins Sixth Meeting of CPTPP Commission in Singapore

In the first 3 years after the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission entered into force, total merchandise trade between Canada and Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam, grew almost 10%—from $47.3 billion in 2018 to $52.1 billion in 2021.

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A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh attended the 6th meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission hosted by Singapore on October 8, VNA reported Sunday.

Launched in December 2018, the CPTPP was signed by 11 countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Launched in December 2018, the CPTPP was signed by 11 countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Source: Global Affairs Canada

This was the first in-person meeting of the CPTPP Commission since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020.

In his opening remarks, Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said after the three-year implementation, the agreement has already started to deliver trade benefits to member states.

He referred to a study that found trade in goods among CPTPP members increased by about 15%, from USD 467 billion in 2019 to USD 535 billion in 2021.

Participants expressed their delight at Malaysia’s ratification of the deal which will come into force with the Southeast Asian country on November 29, 2022.

They also welcomed the adoption of the Guidelines for Mutual Recognition Agreements or Arrangements for Professional Services under the Professional Services Working Group.

These guidelines provide practical guidance for governments, relevant bodies or authorities or other entities entering into mutual recognition negotiations for regulated professional services.

Demonstrating their commitment to advance the CPTPP, the member states continued to explore new and emerging areas of cooperation in the digital economy and green economy.

They welcomed the progress of the ongoing discussions for the UK’s accession process and resolve to ensure that the high standards of the CPTPP are upheld throughout this process.

“We acknowledge all efforts made thus far to ensure the UK’s compliance with all the obligations of the Agreement and look forward to further progress on the accession process with the commitment of both the CPTPP membership and the UK,” according to the joint statement of the meeting.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh talks to Mary Ng, Canadian Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh talks to Mary Ng, Canadian Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. Source: Global Affairs Canada

The 11-member CPTPP took effect for Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore in December 2018; Vietnam in January 2019; and Peru in September 2021. Brunei and Chile are the remainders that have yet to complete the ratification process.

The free trade area accounts for an estimated 13% of the global GDP.

Over three years since the CPTPP took effect, Vietnam’s exports to member economies, especially Canada, Mexico and Peru have significantly increased, showing high adaptation capacity of domestic firms.

Statistics showed that last year, Vietnam enjoyed growth in exports to all CPTPP markets.

In the first seven months of this year, the figure reached USD 31.47 billion, up 21.43% year on year, accounting for 14.48% of the country’s total export revenue in the period.

According to To Hoai Nam, Vice President and Secretary-General of the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, over the past three years, Vietnamese firms have shown their strong capacity to adapt to the new normal situation and make full use of CPTPP to increase their exports.

However, he stressed the need for domestic businesses to be more active in thoroughly studying the market, consumers’ culture as well as the standards and technical barriers of the CPTPP economies, especially regulations on origin, while improving their products’ quality by investing more in production technologies.

Hannah Nguyen