Deputies to the National Assembly debated documents on the ratification of the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) at the ongoing session in Hanoi on June 8.

The United Kingdom officially applied for CPTPP membership on February 21, 2021. Accession negotiations between the UK and the 11 current CPTPP members were concluded on 31 March 2023. The UK concluded negotiations to join the CPTPP on 31 March 2023 and signed the Protocol of Accession on 16 July 2023.

At the legislature on June 8, Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan presented the President’s report, saying the UK’s CPTPP accession documents include two main parts: Accession Protocol and Annexes; and UK letters and bilateral letters between Vietnam and the UK.

The Protocol and its Annexes represent the UK’s market opening commitments in six areas, namely trade in goods, trade in services - investment, and temporary entry of businesses, government procurement, financial services and state-owned enterprises.

The Protocol also represents a number of legal-institutional commitments, thereby unifying specific chapters of the Agreement applicable to certain territories of the UK, and CPTPP members’ agreement to accept an exception clause to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Like the other 10 CPTPP members, Vietnam has signed five bilateral documents with the UK in the fields of labour – trade union, e-commerce, intellectual property and financial services. In addition, Vietnam and the UK also signed bilateral document on Government procurement, grace periods in intellectual property and investment licensing on the basis of ensuring reciprocity and balance of obligations between the two parties.

The UK has signed a document confirming that Vietnamese industries are considered operating under market economy conditions, and that the Uk will not apply Article 14.1(b) of its 2019 Trade Remedies Regulations to imported goods in Vietnam.

According to Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan, the UK’s CPTPP accession will help promote and attract more economies to join this agreement, expand market access opportunities for Vietnamese goods and increase Vietnam’s attractiveness in the eyes of foreign investors.

The UK is one of the largest import markets in the world. The results of negotiations Vietnam has achieved will strongly promote its trade and investment exchange activities with the UK, especially creating conditions for Vietnamese goods to access the market with a large annual import turnover.

However, she said the UK is one of the most demanding markets in the world regarding the standards of domestically circulated goods. Therefore, Vietnamese goods exported to the UK market still face challenges in meeting its standards.

Vietnam will also commit to opening its market to goods and services for the UK, bringing to bear certain competitive pressure on local businesses, goods and services. Yet, this is healthy, selective competitive pressure that follows an appropriate roadmap. More importantly, she said the competitive pressure will not be great as the economic structures of both the UK and Vietnam are highly complementary.

The Government proposed the National Assembly ratify the UK’s accession protocol at the ongoing legislature session so that Vietnam will be one of the first six CPTPP countries to ratify it. So far three CPTPP members - Singapore, Japan and Chile - have completed procedures in their countries.

The Vietnamese President also requested the National Assembly consider and decide to ratify the UKs Accession Protocol at the session.

Source: VOV