TPP talks to be hammered out this year

Negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are likely to be completed this year if all the concerned parties remain committed and flexible, said Deputy Trade Minister Tran Quoc Khanh.

He gave the information on March 9 after the end of the 11th round of TPP talks, which involved nearly 500 negotiators meeting in Melbourne , Australia .

This was the first round of negotiations to be held this year, looking to finalise the agreement as set forth at the APEC Summit in Honolulu , Hawaii , last November. Vietnam was one of the nine countries involved in the 11 th round of TPP talks, which included the US, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, Brunei and Australia.

Deputy Minister Khanh, who is also Head of Vietnam’s delegation at the TPP talks, said this round saw significant progress during discussions on goods and services as well as investments for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Vietnamese official said that apart from taking part in multilateral discussions during the 10-day talks, the Vietnamese delegation held bilateral talks with the US on opening up the US market to Vietnamese industrial commodities, including textiles and garments, and agricultural products.

He added that the Vietnamese Government welcomed the interests of Japan , Canada and Mexico in TPP talks. At present, these countries are undergoing consulting with other TPP countries and the concerned TPP economic ministers will decide on any new members once the consultation process is completed.

The next round of TPP talks is scheduled to be held in the US in May and several negotiators will meet in late March or early April to discuss ongoing differences over existing issues.-VNA