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Economy

As TPP hopes fade, Vietnamese companies chart new paths for expansion

Internal reforms, other trade pacts provide tailwind for likes of Vinamilk, FPT

Vietnam's garment industry will likely have to get by without the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. (photo by Shinya Sawai)

HANOI The atmosphere inside the offices of Vietnam's Garment 10 became strangely charged when the news came in that Donald Trump had been elected president of the U.S. Than Duc Viet, deputy general director of the state-run textile company, broke into a rousing speech. "If the TPP falls through, we can always look to Europe or South Korea," he told managers. "After all, we haven't been making all these improvements just for the TPP!"

Duc was referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the comprehensive, 12-nation trade pact that would have given Vietnamese exports easy access to a vast market. Unfortunately for Hanoi, Trump has vowed to scrap the deal on his first day in office.

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