Concerned about China, Taiwanese businesses seek Vietnam’s help in joining CPTPP

Member representatives of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) at the signing ceremony in Chile on August 3, 2018. Taiwanese businesses are seeking support from Vietnam to join this agreement.

An association of Taiwanese businesses in Vietnam reportedly submitted a document to the Vietnamese government on October 4 asking the Southeast Asian country to support the island nation’s efforts to join the Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), while concerned about China becoming a member of this agreement.

Citing CNA’s report in Mandarin, Taiwan News and Focus Taiwan said the decision to seek support from the Vietnamese government was made after the meeting of about 200 members of the Council of the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (CTCVN) on September 30.

After Taiwan announced on September 22 that the island nation had applied to join the CPTPP, the association consulted with member businesses in Vietnam and drafted a proposal to submit to Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, through the Vietnam Business Forum, a channel for policy dialogue between the Vietnamese government and the business community, according to the executive director of CTCVN.

Earlier on September 16, China said that the country’s Commerce Minister had applied for the world’s second-largest economy to join the free trade agreement, which is currently being viewed as an economic counterweight. important to China’s influence in the region.

Taiwan has expressed concern about China’s decision to apply to join. Meanwhile China, which has always claimed Taiwan as its territory, said it would not be pleased if Taipei was allowed to join the accord before Beijing.

Vietnam is one of 11 members of the CPTPP, which was signed in Chile in March 2018 after President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the predecessor TPP agreement, once the focus of China’s pivot to Asia strategy of President Barack Obama, shortly after taking office in January 2017.

Vietnam is “ready to share its information and experience with China on joining this agreement,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters at a regular press conference in Hanoi on September 23. Hang said that the CPTPP “is an open free trade agreement with comprehensive commitments to promote economic and trade cooperation between member economies.”

Also at the press conference when asked about Hanoi’s response to the news that Taiwan announced its accession to this agreement, Hang said that “Vietnam will closely consult with other CPTPP members on proposals party to this agreement.”

Other members of the CPTPP include Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore.

It is important for Taiwan to receive Vietnam’s support as it is a member of the CPTPP, CTCVN CEO Chen Chia-cheng, quoted by Taiwan News and Focus Taiwan, said.

Taiwanese businesses have deeply invested in many areas of the Vietnamese economy. According to Taiwan News, Taiwanese companies operate in the textile, footwear, furniture and agricultural sectors, as well as the electronics industry.

Mr. Chen said that Taiwan’s membership in this agreement will further deepen the cooperation relationship between this country and Vietnam. Accordingly, Taiwanese businesses in Vietnam will have better access to resources in Taiwan and thus will strengthen their position in the supply chain. The CEO of CTCVN was also quoted as saying that Vietnam and Taiwan share deep links in technology and supply chains. (Translated)


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