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Vietnam Today

TPP talks falter but hopes still high

Released at: 10:41, 03/08/2015 Trans-Pacific Partnership

TPP talks falter but hopes still high

Despite negotiations in Hawaii failing many positive signs remain.

by Quynh Nguyen-Doan Tran

Talks over the Trans-Partnership Partnership in Hawaii may have resulted in a stalemate but there’s no sense of pessimism in Vietnam.

“The chance to finish negotiating the TPP has been missed many times and now once again, but we should not be surprised or less optimistic,” said Mr. Le Dang Doanh, Director of Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM).

With nothing signed after four days of ministerial-level negotiations in Hawaii, Mr. Doanh pointed out that the remaining issues are controversial and not easy to resolve. But with continued effort it may not be too difficult to still conclude negotiations this year.

Agreeing, Mr. Vo Tri Thanh, Deputy Director of CIEM, said that even if though this round of negotiations have concluded there was some progress made and some difficult issues resolved. “The negotiation process has lasted many years and all countries have made efforts to overcome the differences, so I think they will come to a general agreement and conclude negotiations this year,” he added.

The first round of negotiations took place in March 2010. After five years the number of countries participating in the negotiations reached 12: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam.

The TPP is expected to create momentum for Vietnam’s GDP growth in the coming years, supporting long-term growth and setting standards for trade and investment in the future. It is also expected to provide an opportunity for Vietnam to attract more foreign investment and facilitate access to two major markets - the US and Japan.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman said there were only some disagreements and member countries were committed to resolving them in the near future through bilateral discussions. The problems primarily concern the four largest economies - the US, Canada, Japan and Mexico, while 98 per cent of issues have been agreed upon.
Further negotiations later this month will be the last chance for pen to be put to paper this year before the US presidential election campaign gets underway.

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