Thai banks in Vietnam believe a large labour force and low wages will still be magnets for trade and foreign direct investment in that country even if the Trans-Pacific Partnership is scrapped in line with US President-elect Donald Trump’s policy. Vietnam is among the 12 Pacific Rim nations that have signed on to the TPP. Vietnam’s manufacturing industry, especially the textiles sector, would expect to receive incentives from zero tariffs under the TPP trade deal. Bangkok Bank’s executive vice president of the international banking group, Chaiyarit Anuchitworawong, believes that Vietnam will remain a key trade partner of the United States and the two countries could make a bilateral agreement if the TPP were withdrawn. “A bilateral agreement will support Vietnam’s trade and FDI. Furthermore, [the number of] people of working age and low wage costs are positive factors to lure FDI, and we believe that Vietnam’s economy will not receive a negative impact from the TPP withdrawal,” he said.
Siam Commercial Bank, which opened a branch in Vietnam in May, also believes that a TPP withdrawal would not affect its business plan because FDI in Vietnam is quite strong and the low wage cost is another key factor attracting investment, said Kamalkant Agarwal, the bank’s first executive vice president.