At the International Support Group (ISG) Plenary Meeting 2015 focusing on agriculture in Hanoi on Friday, Ambassador Osius highlighted the benefits the Vietnam will reap once joining the TPP
and the U.S.’ willingness to aid Vietnam in implementing the landmark trade agreement.
“Once in force, the agreement would be a critical step in strengthening our collective economic security and further deepening the U.S.-Vietnam relationship,” Mr. Osius affirmed on opening his remarks.
Despite the tremendous growth in the industrial and service sectors, the agricultural sector remains the bedrock of the overall economy in Vietnam. The sector employs nearly 50% of the population and provided an estimated $30.8 billion in export revenue to the Vietnamese economy in 2014.
There is tremendous potential for Vietnam to use TPP to further integrate the agricultural sector into the global economy and reap ample benefits from feeding a hungry world.
TPP offers an opportunity to increase Vietnam’s competitiveness and provides access to markets representing approximately 10% of the world’s population and importing about 26% of the world’s food and agricultural products in 2014.
The ambassador noted that the TPP agreement would reinforce Vietnam’s existing commitment to economic modernization and integration. “This further integration and adoption of international standards should open the door to investment in more modern equipment and technology, modernizing the agricultural sector and making it more efficient. This would bring considerable benefits to the farm and food processing sectors in Vietnam.”
He asserted that the U.S. government wants to help Vietnam successfully implement the TPP. “Indeed, this is also in our interest.”
The U.S. is ready to assist Vietnam through various programs such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s project with IR-4 which helped MARD’s Plant Protection Department develop pesticide efficacy data for a fungicide commonly used on dragon fruit. In the livestock sector, both the U.S is assisting Vietnam with its fight against critical animal disease threats such as Avian Influenza and Foot & Mouth Disease.
In a related development, Vietnam and New Zealand late on Thursday published the text of the TPP agreement although the text will continue to undergo legal review. The agreement is expected to be signed by 12 member countries at the start of 2016.