Vietnam and Japan’s top diplomats have expressed their belief in free trade flows and hope for the US’s return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership amid rising protectionism in the world.
Vietnam's Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh and Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono. Photo: Minh Tuan
“We believe TPP is still the best option for [the] United States,” said Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono, hoping that the pact is expected to come into force by the end of this year.
Japan was the second member country to ratify the deal in July after Mexico. Singapore followed suit in mid-August and the remaining nations Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru and Vietnam are expected to pass the deal later this year. It will come into effect if at least six among the 11 give it the green light.
The Chilean parliament is preparing to pass the trade agreement later this year, Chile’s Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero Espinoza told Hanoitimes on September 12.
Kono added that a number of economies including Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, the UK and in Latin America are interested in joining it.
The TPP will be “attractive” to American industries and farmers to join it. “We are still hoping that [the] Trump administration or administration after that will be interested in and will be determined to come back to the TPP,” Kono noted.
Agreeing with Kono on the importance of the TPP, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh said Vietnam advocates the multilateral trading system. “We support the free trade spirit. That’s why Vietnam participates in bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements.”
Noting that the TPP is the most sophisticated trade agreement that Vietnam has joined, Minh said: “We believe that if the United State [re]joins it, we’ll welcome.”