CPTPP reels in more export opportunities for fisheries sector

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is expected to open up new export opportunities for Vietnamese goods, including aquatic products, according to insiders.

Opportunities to enhance values

Le Hang, Communications Director of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said that Vietnam’s exports to CPTPP members have risen strongly in the last five years to 2.9 billion USD in 2022 from 2.2 billion USD in 2018. The country’s market share has also increased from 25 per cent to 27 per cent, which is a positive sign for the Vietnamese fisheries sector.

CPTPP reels in more export opportunities for fisheries sector | Business | Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus)
Seafood exports to CPTPP members have risen from 2.2 billion USD to 2.9 billion USD in 2022. (Photo: VNA)

In the first six months of 2023, Vietnam’s seafood exports to CPTPP members dropped to 1.1 billion USD, down 12 per cent year on year, and the major reason was the downturn in market demand, she noted.

However, opportunities are still abundant in many CPTPP member countries like Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Canada, especially for intensively processed products, said Hang.

On July 16, British Secretary for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch officially signed an agreement to join the CPTPP, bringing the total number of members of the pact to 12, namely Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Vietnam, and the UK.

Ta Hoang Linh, Director of the European-American Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, held that for Vietnam, the UK is the sixth biggest export market globally and the fourth largest among the European and American countries. Therefore, the UK’s joining the CPTPP, along with the existing Vietnam-UK Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) will help upgrade bilateral trade with supplementary preferential tax lines.

Nguyen Thu Trang, Director of the WTO and International Trade Centre of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), asserted that although Vietnam and the UK have signed a UKVFTA, with the CPTPP, businesses see another way to export products to the European market with higher preferential tax levels.

However, Trang pointed to a number of challenges for Vietnamese firms as many countries have yet to sign an FTA with the UK, but due to the UK’s joining of the CPTPP, Vietnamese businesses will have to compete with more competitors in the market.

Greater attention to green, sustainable standards

It can be seen that fisheries are one of the sectors that benefit the most from FTAs, including the CPTPP.

Statistics showed that in 2022, the FTA between ASEAN and China (ACFTA) helped Vietnam’s aquatic exports surge by 95 per cent in the market of China, 94 per cent in the Republic of Korea, 83 per cent in the EU, and 77 per cent in Mexico - a new market and a CPTPP member.

Generally, Vietnamese fisheries firms are making good use of tariff advantages from the FTAs as the majority of them use domestic materials and meet requirements in origin.

However, experts said that domestic exporters are facing challenges in meeting green and sustainability standards in the world’s major markets.

According to Trang, this is a global trend, especially in Vietnam’s major export markets such as the EU, the US, and Japan.

She advised domestic firms to pay greater attention to the standards, which will enable them to enter all markets, including niche ones.

Trang also stressed the need for authorized agencies to support businesses in enjoying preferential tax rates while providing them with information on regulations on green and sustainability standards.

CPTPP reels in more export opportunities for fisheries sector | Business | Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus)
Green and sustainability standards are a global trend, requiring businesses to adjust. (Photo: VNA)

Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, head of the Science, Technology, and International Cooperation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)’s Directorate of Fisheries, said that the CPTPP is a motivation for businesses to restructure and pay more attention to environmental protection.

Especially in the field of fishing, Vietnam has gradually provided products with origin transparency, quality assurance, and environmental production. But these accomplishments were achieved step by step.

She said that in order to support businesses, the MARD has held forums on science-technology applications to ensure that all businesses access science and technologies rapidly, reducing product costs, and opening more access to compete in the market.

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(Source: VNA)