US business execs visit Vietnam to assess TPP opportunities

Thanh Nien News

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Alex Feldman (left), CEO of the US – ASEAN Business Council, with other council members at a press briefing in Vietnam February 24. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre

The head of a US
business delegation that visited Vietnam last month in connection with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement said Vietnam’s strong commitment to the deal interests US firms.
Alex Feldman, CEO of the US – ASEAN Business Council, the lead advocacy organization for US businesses working in Southeast Asia, told the media that US businesses are very eager about the Vietnamese market for two reasons – its commitment to the TPP talks and its success in controlling inflation and foreign exchange rates, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
In February inflation dropped to a 10-year low of 0.55 percent.
Many of the around 30 US firms visiting Vietnam from February 22 to 26  already have a presence here, and expect more opportunities as a result of the TPP, which is in the final rounds of discussions between 12 countries including Japan, Australia, and Canada.
Feldman said one firm that employs a lot of workers in Vietnam has said it will double its workforce once the deal is clinched.
US firms in Vietnam will have easier access to markets included in the deal.
A General Electric executive said the TPP has a section on small industries that would allow Vietnamese producers to join global supply chains.
The visiting business executives also held 15 meetings with government leaders during their three days in Hanoi.
The TPP negotiations are ongoing in Singapore.
Feldman said there is a chance that the US Congress would give President Barack Obama trade promotion authority, which would speed up the finalization of the trade pact.
Once Obama gets the authority, the Congress can only approve or reject the deal in its entirety.
Feldman said the deal might be signed by the end of this year.

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