Potential winners and losers from the TPP have reacted differently to its signing.
After five years of negotiations the TPP has finally been signed, triggering mixed opinions in Vietnam’s business community. Many enterprises are excited about the agreement while others are more than a little concerned.
According to Mr. Le Tien Truong, General Director of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Corporation, the principles contained within the TPP are not new to the textile industry because it has been gaining knowledge and preparing for its advent during the negotiating period. The garment industry knows full well the advantages and disadvantages of being a part of the TPP.
Textile enterprises have adjusted the pace of their investment over the last five years, he went on. “The TPP negotiations ending now help textile enterprises accelerate their investment speed, continue to strengthen their management, and apply productivity and quality standards to increase competitiveness,” he said.
Few enterprises in Vietnam’s footwear are ready for the TPP. Mr. Ha Duy Hung, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Leather and Footwear Association and CEO of the Dong Hung Co., said that most enterprises in the association are of small and medium size and may struggle in the competitive environment the TPP creates.
“We are concerned that, despite having large orders, domestic enterprises lack the ability and the potential to benefit,” Mr. Hung said. “Businesses will have to work together to survive and develop. If not, small footwear businesses will not benefit at all from Vietnam joining the TPP.”
Agriculture is considered the sector that will face the greatest difficulties from the TPP. Mr. Vu Kien Chinh, General Director of the Tung Lam Group, said that Vietnam opening up to foreign goods will present a number of obstacles for domestic products.
While countries around the world have adopted many technical advances and mechanization in agriculture to increase productivity and reduce production costs, production in Vietnam remains weak. “In the immediate future the State should focus on investment in technical infrastructure and social infrastructure in rural areas,” Mr. Chinh believes.