Viet Nam to benefit most from RCEP: WB

Viet Nam is anticipated to enjoy the highest trade and income gains among members of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), according to a latest World Bank report.
The eight-month container cargo volume passing via seaports nationwide is estimated at nearly 16.8 million TEUs (Photo: VNA)
Viet Nam is anticipated to enjoy the highest trade and income gains among members of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Illustrative image. (Photo: VNA)

The average trade weighted tariff imposed by Viet Nam declines from 0.8 percent to 0.2 percent while the tariffs faced by the country are reduced from 0.6 percent to 0.1 percent between 2000 and 2035, it said.

In the most optimistic scenario, where all benefits are applied, Viet Nam has the highest gains of all RCEP member countries, newswire Vietnam Briefing cited the report as saying. Viet Nam’s income levels increase by 4.9 percent relative to the baseline, higher than other countries, where the income level increases by 2.5 percent.

Trade also increases the most in this scenario, with exports expanding by 11.4 percent and imports by 9.2 percent, relative to the baseline.”

All RCEP member countries will see an increase in exports and imports. Viet Nam’s exports expand by 11.4 percent and imports by 9.2 percent.

Sectors that recorded the highest growth were motorised vehicles manufacturing with 18.6 percent, followed by textiles and garments 16.2 percent and apparel 14.9 percent, mainly due to the reduction of non-tariff measures.

In the scenario where only the tariff reduction is implemented, the impact on Viet Nam’s economy is negligible, with real income close to zero. Trade also sees a small reduction relative to the baseline, with both exports and imports declining by 0.3 percent. It is attributed to the fact that Viet Nam enjoys relatively low tax rates thanks to other free trade agreements.

According to the WB’s report, RCEP also provides an opportunity to promote growth and support recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Viet Nam and Malaysia are the countries that are expected to benefit the most from this agreement. RCEP will help Viet Nam access consumer markets which is twice the size of the markets in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), as RCEP includes China, the Republic of Korea and Japan. However, it required Viet Nam to raise standards to meet higher demand and stiffer competition.

Another advantage that RCEP brings to the country is that it is creating more equality in the job market because sectors that employ women are expanded, such as textiles, apparel, electronics and some service sectors. The wage of female workers will increase faster than that of male ones, especially in Viet Nam.

About 50 percent of the population in RCEP, or 1.1 billion people, contribute 10 USD or more per day based on purchasing power. The agreement can help boost the middle class by 27 million people for all member countries by 2035, of which Viet Nam is expected to benefit the most when it has an additional 1.7 million people enter this class, according to the World Bank.

The WB report said that the simplification of procedures such as customs and rules of origin will help reduce bureaucracy, allowing more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to participate. These enterprises account for 98 percent of the total number of enterprises in Viet Nam, contributing 40 percent of GDP. Thus, RCEP offers a chance for Vietnamese SMEs to increase the value chain.

Viet Nam's economic growth will come from a deeper and more inclusive commitment through RCEP intra-regional trade, common rules of origin and greater openness to goods and services in accessing markets, especially the Chinese market, it said.

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(Source: VNA)