Major progress made at seventh round of TPP talks
By Tran Thu – The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – The seventh round of negotiations on an Asia-Pacific free trade agreement ended in Vietnam last week with substantial progress made.
The latest round of Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) Agreement talks, held in HCMC from June 20 to 24, was attended by 500 representatives of TPP member states – Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade quoted the Vietnamese negotiating team as saying that discussions on more than 20 areas of the pact made substantial progress, so an essential agreement covering key sectors might be reached by the end of this year.
Regarding negotiations on the openness of trade markets, negotiators put forward market-access offers with more progressive commitments and spent more time discussing the issue. The aim was to set up a real free trade agreement which brings real trade opportunities for TPP member nations, hastening economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region.
Issues concerning SMEs were discussed to find ways to help SMEs access fully relevant information to grasp opportunities offered by the TPP pact, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade and head of Vietnam’s TPP negotiating team Tran Quoc Khanh told local media last Friday.
“Vietnam as a developing country has a lower development level than other TPP member states. However, the nine members of TPP have a common target of development, so they are trying to find measures to narrow the gap.”
The comprehensive TPP is expected to bring opportunities for Vietnam to spur exports to the other TPP member states as well as perfect its legal framework, said Khanh.
The eighth round of talks will be held in the U.S. in mid-September this year.
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