Vietnam to gain most from Pacific trade pact: US official

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Vietnam will gain the most from the Trans Pacific Partnership that will be finalized this year, making the country's major exports more attractive to world markets, an American trade official said.

Demetrios Marantis, Deputy US Trade Representative, told the media in Hanoi on February 24 that Vietnam could be the country to benefit the most from the TPP as the agreement will force it to raise the quality of major export items like garment and textiles, making them more valuable on the US and other markets.

Vietnam was the second largest seller of textiles and apparel to the US in 2011 after China, according to data from the US International Trade Commission.

"The challenge for the negotiators is to be able to realize something that will work well for both countries," Marantis said. He cited the example of textiles, a major export interest for Vietnam, for which there are "import sensitivities" in the US.

Two-way trade between the US and Vietnam totaled $21.8 billion last year, according to US Commerce Department data.

TPP contains commitments to help Vietnam meet international quality standards in several important sectors, and hence the agreement will boost economic reform in Vietnam, Marantis said.

Negotiators from nine TPP member nations  Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam  will meet in Melbourne for the 11th round of the negotiations between March 1-19.

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Leaders of these countries had reached the broad outlines of the trade deal on the sidelines of an APEC meeting in Honolulu last November.

Marantis said three other countries in the region, Japan, Mexico and Canada have also showed interest in the agreement.

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