The ministerial meeting of the Vietnam-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council in Washington has achieved significant progress, said Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade, Vu Huy Hoang in an interview granted to VOV.
VOV: Could you brief us on the results of the meeting?
Minister Hoang: The two sides agreed that TIFA has contributed to strengthening economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
They worked closely with each other to remove difficulties, especially US technical barriers against the import of Vietnamese products. They negotiated hard to find a suitable solution that would enable Vietnamese products to penetrate the US. This is a positive result of this meeting.
VOV: What proposals did the Vietnamese delegation put forth at the meeting?
Minister Hoang: Vietnam focused on promoting trade development and creating favourable conditions for its products to penetrate the US market, especially those which are manufactured by a large number of workers and produced by farmers, such as garment, footwear, tra fish and shrimp.
The second key issue on the TIFA’s agenda was related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Vietnam actively took part in the first round of negotiation and pledged to join other negotiations on scheduled.
VOV: How about the US proposals?
Minister Hoang: The US side urged Vietnamese businesses to seek investment opportunities in the country. This is a huge market that could import a wide range of products from Vietnam. There’s still a limit to Vietnamese investment in the US.
VOV: The meeting reached an agreement on improving access to each other’s market for several mutually-supplementary agricultural products. Could you elaborate on it?
Minister Hoang: It is based on the fact that there is no competition between agricultural products of both countries. For instance, Vietnamese fruits exported to the US like dragon fruit, rambutan, litchi and longan cannot be grown in the US while Vietnam has to import pear, apple, and cherry from the US.
VOV: Did the Vietnamese delegation ask the US Department of Agriculture for a redefinition of Vietnamese tra and basa fish?
Minister Hoang: We often mentioned to this at TIFA meetings as well as at other meetings with the Department of Agriculture, some senators and other agencies.
The US is asking Vietnam to comment on the US definition of tra and basa fish. Comments should be made in a scientific manner.
VOV: Trade balance between the two countries is now in favour of Vietnam. How will it be dealt with by both sides?
Minister Hoang: Two-way trade value is increasing and Vietnam’s export value is higher than the US’s. The US pointed out the issue with a view to seeking measures to help more American businesses invest in Vietnam.