Nguyen Hong Duong, Deputy Director of the American Market Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), made this statement at a workshop on "Vietnam and the United States' Trade Relations and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Major Prospects and Challenges” in Hanoi on November 18.
The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency and the US Embassy in Ha Noi organised the event.
Duong said the US was a large and diversified market with great untapped potential and remained the largest importer of Vietnamese products.
He warned that the US had a strict and complicated legal system that Vietnamese businesses must study and master. Therefore, the TPP agreement represented a great opportunity for Vietnamese businesses in a larger playing field, with more openness and advantages, Duong added.
According to Duong, the TPP agreement, with the participation of leading economies such as the US, Japan and Canada, made the TPP a large economic space that accounted for 40% of GDP and one-third of global trade.
Moreover, the US remained the most attractive market for all exporting countries, including Vietnam, and this agreement may bring huge opportunities for Vietnamese products as the tax rate will drop to zero per cent, he explained.
According to the MoIT, Vietnam will maintain its export growth to the US market at 10% in 2014.
To take advantage of the TPP agreement from now on, Vietnam businesses have to prepare well for conditions to seize opportunities as the agreement takes effect.
Stuart Schaag, US Commercial Counselor revealed that every year, the US made an annual report on trade barriers of all countries, including Viet Nam, and sent reports to Vietnamese ministries and agencies on US trade barriers for Vietnam.
He said that apart from newly-issued policies on Vietnam's exports such as the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA), the US Embassy had informed Vietnamese ministries and agencies in advance to help them disseminate information and conduct training courses for local businesses.
Tran Ba Cuong of the MoIT Multilateral Trade Policy Department said the biggest impact would come from the opening of the market, thereby raising competitive pressure from foreign rivals.
This would serve as an opportunity for well-performing domestic businesses but would be a great challenge for ailing businesses, he added.
In addition, the TPP is expected to generate a comprehensive impact on Vietnam's business environment through commitments that Vietnam offered in the agreement.