Firms must study laws for TPP

Thien Thanh Sanitaryware joint company

Firms must study laws for TPP

Most Vietnamese businesses are still unclear about international trade and business laws, which could result in a loss of opportunities presented by the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), experts have said. Lawyer Chau Huy Quang, founding partner of Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers, and also arbitrator of Viet Nam International Arbitration Centre, said that domestic companies needed to understand the rules of play on the world market.

"Otherwise, they will be forced to retreat on the home playing field," he said.

Quang spoke at the Top 100 Business Style Awards 2015 launch ceremony held on Thursday in HCM City, after Ha Noi and Nha Trang.

The awards were created to honour outstanding domestic and foreign businesses that have made great contributions to society and have environmentally friendly operations.

Speaking at the event, Le Phuoc Vu, chairman of Hoa Sen Group, said participation in TPP would help to accelerate Viet Nam's economic restructuring, particularly equitisation of state-owned enterprises.

Vu said that Vietnamese companies must be well-prepared for a highly competitive and demanding market

"It will require them to change their business thinking," he said.

Businesses must become more flexible, especially in difficult circumstances, to be able to cope with market challenges.

Economist Le Tham Duong, head of the Finance Faculty at HCM City Banking University, said that Vietnamese enterprises must also reform internally, improving risk management, crisis management, and leadership.

"Despite a lower starting point, we have unique ways of running businesses successfully with an awareness of the advantages and disadvantages as well as mistakes we can correct and ways we can overcome opponents," Duong said.

Ha Tuan Anh, chairman and CEO of QMS Viet Nam Co, said Vietnamese enterprises would face severe competition in the domestic market from the richer countries belonging to the TPP.

If Vietnamese enterprises were not sufficiently competitive, they would face the risk of being ruled out, he said.

IT and hi-tech applications should be used by more businesses, he added.

Only 2 per cent of Vietnamese companies use hi-tech, while 73 per cent of Singaporean and 32 per cent of Thai businesses used hi-tech in their trading activities, according to Anh.

Vietnamese firms also lack CEOs who have a deep understanding about international markets and international business laws, and the need for skilled labour forces.

If the TPP agreement is inked, it will bring Viet Nam many advantages, particularly an improved import and export market structure, and a bigger market for Vietnamese goods and service.

It will also provide access to regional and global production chains. TPP member countries make up 40 per cent of the world's GDP.

If Vietnamese enterprises are unable to make competitive products and offer good services, and do not grasp the opportunities, advantages will turn into disadvantages, speakers said.

The ceremony was organised by Business Style Magazine, Business Style Club,, Women Leaders International Networking and Nam Huong Media & Event Corporation under the direction of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.