VietNam Net Bridge | 26/05/2013
Would TPP be good or bad to Vietnam’s agriculture?
VietNamNet Bridge – The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is believed to bring the golden opportunity to change the look of the agriculture, in which 70 percent of Vietnamese get involved.
The Vietnam-US two-way trade turnover has increased rapidly over the last decade from $2 billion in 2001 to $26 in 2012. In that year, the two-way trade exchange between the US and the other 10 TPP countries reached $94 billion, which accounted for 39 percent of the total import-export turnover of agriculture products between the country and the world.
The US’s farm produce exports to the 10 TPP partner countries was over $45 billion, or 32 percent of the total exports of the US all over the world. The TPP partners have also been the big exporters of farm produce to the US with the export turnover amounting to 47 percent of the US’s total imports.
As such, if Vietnam can join a playing field where there are many “big guys” like the US, Japan and South Korea, this would be a great opportunity for Vietnam to carry out a reform to its agriculture. Vietnam’s farm produce would have the opportunity to approach to the high grade market segment in the world. This would help Vietnam change the existing image as a low cost farm produce maker.
Nevertheless, TPP would not be a smooth and flat road for Vietnam’s agriculture. The adaptability would determine Vietnam’s success when joining TPP.
With TPP, Vietnam would have to open its market to the farm produce from the US and other TPP countries.
Meanwhile, the US agriculture is believed to have the capability of making “quick attacks” with its powerful agriculture production force, good experiences and high quality products.
Especially, the country is also believed to have effective defensive measures against the farm produce imports. With the capability of manufacturing high quality products, plus the technical barriers, the US is quite capable to protect its agricultural production from the imports.
Therefore, experts said, it’s necessary for Vietnam to review the lessons from the US raised anti-dumping lawsuits and the policies to restrict the imports that the country once applied to deal with Vietnam’s attempt to penetrate more deeply into the market.
Foreign sources have said that the Japanese government is considering compensating Japanese farmers for the losses they may incur when Japan joins TPP. This showed that the Asian big economy power thinks about what impacts the agreement would bring to it.
Analysts have warned that to some extent, Vietnam’s agriculture which has been protected with the high import tariffs, would suffer from TPP, once the import tariffs are removed within the framework of TPP.
As such, analysts say, in the TPP playing field, Vietnam should play in both defense and offense. What Vietnam needs to do is to prepare in infrastructure, technique and management skill to grab the opportunities to be brought by TPP.
Vietnam has been advised to call for the investments from other countries, especially from the US. The infrastructure, technique and management problems would be settled quickly thanks to the country’s powerful resources and its willingness to strengthen the relationship with Vietnam.
Instead of relying on the resources from outside, Vietnam has been told to do necessary things to become stronger. If Vietnam can do well with the agriculture reform, capital and technical support, product quality improvement, it would be able to compete with the imports, especially when it has the advantages in the labor force and natural conditions.