Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the Foreign Trade Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), said the CPTPP has created great momentum for foreign trade.

Statistics show that in 2021, trade turnover totalled 680 billion USD, up 19% - an impressive growth rate amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on the global economy.

Exports to American markets reached 113.6 billion USD while imports from those markets stood at 24.9 billion USD, respectively rising 26.7% and 14.1%.

Exports to American markets reached 113.6 billion USD last year. (Photo for illustration)

Mobile phones, computers, machinery and electronic equipment made up the biggest part of Vietnam’s shipments to the Americas (43.3%), followed by textile - garment and leather - footwear (25%), timber and wood products (8%), and agricultural and fishery products (4%).

Vo Hong Anh, Deputy Director of the MoIT’s European - American Market Department, said American countries, especially members of the CPTPP, have great demand for apparel, footwear, wood items, and agricultural and fishery products.

Since the CPTPP took effect, the Vietnamese goods benefiting from preferential tariffs under the deal have posted soaring exports to the deal's member markets, she noted.

However, she also pointed out several obstacles such as geographical distance, high transportation expenses, long shipping time, and high quality standards, not to mention foreign importers’ modest knowledge about product quality and production capacity of Vietnam.

Anh recommended businesses raise the rate of locally made components and added value of their products, produce environmentally friendly products, and learn about markets’ demand. They should also improve production technology, diversify product designs and packaging so that products can not only suit buyers’ taste but also meet technical standards of foreign markets.

Hai noted the MoIT has issued an action plan to help enterprises capitalise on benefits generated by free trade agreements (FTAs), including the CPTPP. It is also stepping up business matching and trade promotion on digital platforms to help firms address the disadvantage of geographical distance.

According to Anh, the four American members of the CPTPP have highly open economies as Canada has 15 FTAs, Mexico 13, Chile 29, and Peru 22. Vietnam can make use of these connections to access the markets these countries have had FTAs with though this work is not easy since each FTA has different rules of origin.

She suggested enterprises consider cooperating with partners in other CPTPP countries to export materials or semi-finished products and then make final touches in those countries to meet the agreements’ rules of origin.

The CPTPP consists of 11 members, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. It officially came into force on December 30, 2018.

Source: VNA