Textiles to reap TPP gains

HCM CITY  (VNS) — Of all the industries in Viet Nam, the garment and textile sector will benefit the most when the country becomes a signatory of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership agreement, a top economist has said.

A yarn producing enterprise in the northern province of Ha Nam. The garment and textiles sector will benefit the most when Viet Nam signs the TPP agreement, experts and industry insiders say. (Photo:VNA)

Vo Tri Thanh, vice director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said the TPP would bring many opportunities to the sector.

Thanh spoke during a seminar held yesterday in HCM City and organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Also speaking at the seminar, Le Tien Truong, deputy head of the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association, predicted that the industry's export turnover would surpass US$20 billion in 2013, exceeding the target of $19 billion set for the year by the association.

With TPP membership, Truong said the textile and garment export turnover to the US would increase annually by 13 per cent to 20 per cent until 2017, fetching total export turnover of $25 – 30 billion.

And by 2025, the sector's overall export turnover could reach $50-$55 billion, he said.

Industry insiders said that the TPP agreement would help stimulate investment in making raw materials, helping to increase the rate of localised products.

By 2015, the localisation rate for export products is expected to be between 60 per cent and 70 per cent, Truong said, adding that this would open up many opportunities for the sector.

He said the TPP agreement would allow Viet Nam to become one of the largest textile and garments centres in the world.

However, many experts said that Viet Nam faced serious obstacles to such status because it still must import 88 per cent of materials from other countries, including non-TPP markets.

Last year, Vinatas imported 415,000 tonnes of cotton, which satisfied 99 per cent of total demand.

The TPP negotiation has undergone 20 rounds on 30 topics.

Early this month in Singapore, negotiations on the TPP continued but were not concluded.

Another ministerial meeting will be held in January, according to Tran Quoc Khanh, deputy minister of Industry and Trade and head of the government's delegation for negotiations.

"Garments and textiles are one of the core benefits for us with the TPP agreement," Khanh said.

Viet Nam has around 4,000 garment factories employing about 2.5 million workers, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Vo Tri Thanh, vice director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said, however, that the agricultural sector would face harsh competition from other TPP members.

But he noted that TPP membership would produce an overall positive impact on the country. It would stimulate the economy, and inflation would drop as the number of foreign-invested projects increased, he said


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