Mekong Delta companies prepare for TPP

ASEAN+ November 14, 2015 01:00

By VIET NAM NEWS
ASIA NEWS NETWO

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JOINING THE US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) presents opportunities for enterprises in the Mekong Delta to expand their markets and enhance their competitiveness, but it also means facing tougher competition, representatives of the Vietnamese busine



There are more than 50,000 enterprises in the region that are engaged in a wide range of sectors, and they account for roughly 10 per cent of Vietnam’s enterprises.

Most of them export rice, aquatic products and seafood, which are key products of Vietnam can ship to markets that are part of the TPP.

According to Vo Hung Dung, director of the Vietnam Chamber for Commerce and Industry’s branch in Can Tho, the TPP deal could allow the region’s agro-fishery products to enter big markets in the bloc, thanks to the preferential tariff policies.

The partnership will also facilitated their access to modern, advanced technologies in agricultural production through cooperation with international partners within the pact, especially Japan, Dung said.

However, they will also be subject to a number of negative impacts, the expert said, pointing to disadvantages for domestic firms that often had out-of-date technologies, weak management capability and low competitiveness compared with big foreign investors in Vietnam and the region.

Besides, a majority of the local workforce is rural workers with limited occupational skills and inadequate foreign-language competency, he said, adding that the local retail market had been seriously affected by the domination of import products from TPP nations.

Ma Thi Thanh, vice chairwoman of the Association of Enterprises in Soc Trang province, called on local enterprises to restructure their operations to develop sustainably and actively.

They should also reorganise|their production process by building their human-resource capabilities and reducing production costs |to enhance competitiveness, she |said.

Huynh Quang Dau, chairman of An Giang Fruit Vegetables Foodstuff Joint Stock Company, stressed the need for domestic enterprises to prepare for strict competition during the integration period.

His company focuses on training employees, especially managerial staff, by enrolling them in training courses at home or study programmes abroad in a bid to meet the requirements for integration.

Le Dang Doanh, former director of the Central Institute of Economic Management, attached significance to links among enterprises, farmers, and exporters and importers, apart from banks and research institutes, to ensure effective competition in TPP markets.

Additionally, enterprises in the region should invest more in human-resource development, technology application and product-quality improvement to meet international labelling, food and labour-safety standards, Doanh said.