Officials from 12 countries participating in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) began talks in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday, aiming to strike a deal in time for a ministerial meeting in Singapore from May 19-20.
In the four-day gathering, participating nations will focus on the opening of goods and service market as well as existing issues, including tariffs, particularly those imposed on farm produce, intellectual property, and state-owned enterprise reform.
Luong Hoang Thai, an official of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said participating countries will hold joint talks as well as bilateral talks, such as Vietnam and EU, Japan and the United States.
Alongside the TPP, Vietnam hopes to complete negotiations on free trade agreements with the European Union and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan this year, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The TPP is being negotiated by 12 countries, namely Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam.
The fresh round of negotiations comes after Japan and the US, the two biggest economies in the TPP talks, made progress in solving bilateral contentious issues after the summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack Obama last month, The Japan Times reported.
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