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Regional grouping, RCEP to benefit Vietnam

Vietnam will gain a lot from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The country's garment and textile sectors will benefit in terms of cost, market scale, and material supply. And, they will not have to bear many trade barriers. The RCEP covers 16 countries, including 10 members of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations and their regional trading partners of China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.

When participating in RCEP, Vietnam will have a strategic market in Asia with three major benefits. The first, lower transportation fees due to geographical proximity. Second, RCEP market will help Vietnamese firms with raw material supplies. Third, cultural similarities among Asian countries will help RCEP negotiations and the signing processes will take place faster.

Vietnamese garment and textile exports are expected to grow 13 to 14 per cent in 2017 compared to 9.2 per cent in 2016. The industry is working on providing products with more competitive prices, higher quality, and shorter delivery times. In the first quarter of 2017, Vietnam earned $5.6 billion from garment and textile exports, up 10.2 per cent year-on-year, while spending on fabric imports was up 5.5 per cent.