Local agricultural products will face more difficulties in the coming years as Vietnam has to open up the market, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) experts have warned over Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.
According to VCCI’s report on opening up the agricultural market and pharmaceutical intellectual property under the TPP, Vietnam’s agricultural products will have to compete with products from the US, Australia and New Zealand.
The competitiveness of Vietnam’s livestock products is still low with the limited production capacity and technologies, and the livestock industry regularly encounters diseases on cattle and poultry.
“Meanwhile, livestock has created jobs for farmers who account for 80 percent of the country’s population. They will earn low and unstable incomes and are vulnerable if the market opens up,” a TPP negotiator of Vietnam told the Daily.
Regarding export prospects, the TPP will give opportunities to Vietnam’s farm produce, especially processed vegetables, to gain access to the US market through the tariff removal. However, the US applies high technical and hygiene standards for imported agricultural goods, and thus the possibility of Vietnamese products entering this market is limited.
The US is currently Vietnam’s second largest coffee importer after the European Union (EU), although the import tax imposed on Vietnam is 0 percent. Therefore, the TPP will bring limited benefits to Vietnamese producers.
However, the US has an advantage in dairy, beef, poultry and pork, and Vietnam imports a large volume of these products from the US If the market is opened up, there is a high likelihood that Vietnamese products will have to compete with rival products imported from the US
Therefore, in order to protect the local agricultural sector after joining the TPP, the government needs to take proper steps to protect the country’s farmers.