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Vietnam Today

Vietnam & Japan should lead TPP-11

Released at: 14:44, 27/12/2017

Vietnam & Japan should lead TPP-11

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Hanoi on Dec. 26 (Photo: VGP)

PM tells Japanese Minister of Economy that two countries need to take the lead in having CPTPP signed.

by Quang Huy

Vietnam and Japan need to lead the remaining economies to soon finalize the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s TPP point man on December 26.

Japanese Minister of Economy Toshimitsu Motegi met Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh on December 25, where they discussed the TPP’s provisions concerning labor disputes, a part of the pact that Vietnam reportedly wishes to postpone.

At a meeting in Hanoi on December 26, Prime Minister Phuc praised the outcome of the discussions, saying that both sides have found mutual understanding on many sticking points regarding the CPTPP, and urged the two countries to become leaders of the revised trade pact, on which Japan has set the time limit of early March for signing.

Mr. Motegi emphasized the important role of the Vietnam’s Prime Minister, Minister of Industry and Trade, and other relevant agencies in the country during negotiations over the CPTPP, which took place on the sidelines of APEC meetings in Da Nang last month.

Prime Minister Phuc said that Mr. Motegi’s visit “is meaningful for the promotion of bilateral trade between Vietnam and Japan as well as trade within the Asia-Pacific region.”

Mr. Motegi will travel to Mexico early next month to try to smooth out the differences in labor dispute provisions, while Japan is prepared to accept an indefinite freeze on two provisions called for by Malaysia and Brunei.

Chief TPP negotiators from the eleven remaining member nations will meet in Japan in late January to confirm the details of the revised pact. Then comes translating the text into members' various languages and conducting legal reviews in each nation, after which Tokyo envisions moving towards signing a final agreement in late February or early March. After that, the trade deal enters the ratification stage in each country.

As it stands, the TPP-11 deal would go into effect if six members ratify it. But Canada, with its vague insistence on language allowing it to better protect Canadian culture, remains a major question mark.

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