VietNam Net Bridge, 12 July 2015. Beef, litchis (lychees) gear up to prepare for TPP.

An edited extract of the original article appears below.

Vietnamese beef and litchis will be seriously affected by the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement in import and export markets. While beef will have to struggle to hold the home market, litchis will have to struggle to penetrate more foreign markets.

In principle, when Vietnam joins free trade agreements (FTAs), it will be able to boost exports to FTA member countries thanks to the zero tariff FTA member countries offer each other…

Nguyen Thi Hoang Thuy, the Vietnamese trade representative at the Vietnamese Embassy in Australia, said Vietnam’s litchis now do not bear tax when entering the Australian market. Therefore, the TPP membership will not bring tariff benefits to that kind of fruit.

“Under the currently applied Australia-ASEAN FTA, 96 percent of ASEAN’s export items to Australia enjoy the zero tariff,” Thuy explained.

“Therefore, whether Vietnam’s litchis in particular and farm produce in general can penetrate Australia will depend on non-tariff matters, including the quarantine,” she said…

Meanwhile, analysts warned that beef and other livestock products will have to struggle to survive in the home market…

Vietnam is the second biggest importer of beef from Australia, just after Indonesia, with 10,000 cows every month.

As Vietnamese prefer fresh to frozen meat, Vietnamese enterprises import fresh cows and slaughter in Vietnam. This has resulted in a sharp decrease in the number of cows in Vietnam, while imports have increased dramatically by 50 times just within two years.

According to Doan Xuan Truc, deputy chair of the Vietnam Livestock Association, Vietnam’s animal husbandry will have to compete fiercely with imports when Vietnam officially joins TPP.

“Small farms will suffer the most, because the imports, especially from Australia, have very reasonable selling prices,” Truc said.



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