New FTAs ignite Vietnam’s motivation for reforms

The participation in new-generation free trade agreements, especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), has promoted Vietnam’s institutional reforms to make them fit the provisions of the new deals.

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Vietnam’s labor law will be amended to fit CPTPP’s provisions


In order to meet its commitments in the CPTPP, which will take effect in Vietnam from January 14 this year, Vietnam will have to continue revising and amending multiple legal provisions on trade, customs, intellectual property and labor.

Ngo Chung Khanh, deputy director of the Department of Multilateral Trade Policies under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that Vietnam has to revise at least seven laws, with dozens of decrees and other related legal documents, in order to bring Vietnam's legal framework closer to international standards.

Through participating in the CPTPP, Vietnam will also directly apply a range of commitments, especially in the fields of services and investment, Khanh added.

However, experts believed that the country can fulfill the workload successfully to comply with the CPTPP’s roadmap for a number of reasons.

Firstly, they said, the most difficult commitments, requiring great enforcement resources, as in the field of intellectual property, have been ‘suspended’ by 11 CPTPP member countries after the withdrawal of the US.

Secondly, a range of new commitments are in line with the Party's guidelines and policies as well as Vietnamese laws, for example, in the field of government procurement, environmental protection, state-owned enterprises, and small and medium-sized enterprises, thus easing the pressure to change the legal system.

Finally, not all commitments in the CPTPP lead to amendments or the issuance of new legal documents. Particularly the side letters and memorandums of understanding, which have been signed by Vietnam with ten member countries of the CPTPP, are flexible or give a longer time for Vietnam to implement its commitments, or more convenient for the country in a number of issues. Basically, such side letters and MoU’s are not contrary to the current regulations and laws of Vietnam and do not give rise to amendments to the law.

Positive effects

Experts believed new FTAs will be an important driving force to help Vietnam accelerate its domestic institutional reforms, thus promoting the operation of the market economy in a comprehensive way and creating a more open and transparent business and investment environment.

“The commitments in the CPTPP related to services and investment will have a positive effect in improving the investment environment, contributing to maintaining the growth momentum of domestic and foreign investment,” Khanh said.

Sharing the same view, Sebastian Eckardt, lead economist of the World Bank in Vietnam, said that the most important benefit of the CPTPP for Vietnam is to help accelerate its domestic reform in many different areas.

The implementation of the commitments in the CPTPP will further promote transparency and  institutional modernization, Eckardt said. 

On the other hand, the very high standards of transparent governance and objective behaviors of the state apparatus in the CPTPP will help Vietnam accelerate the process of improving the apparatus towards a streamlined, clean and strong one, while promoting administrative reform, increasing responsibility and preventing corruption, wastefulness and red tape.

Marko Walde, chief representative of the German Industry and Commerce Vietnam, said that the CPTPP, as a quite comprehensive agreement, will offer Vietnam not only trade and investment opportunities, but also a chance to modernize and bring its labor legislation, penal legislation , anti-corruption law, and the intellectual property policy in line with international standards.

This will certainly have a positive effect on the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in the time to come, Walde said.

Hanoitimes 

New FTAs ignite Vietnam’s motivation for reforms, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news
 
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