The news that the multilateral negotiation for Viet Nam’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) reached an agreement in the final issues is seen as an official announcement to end the country’s 11-year arduous negotiation for entry into the WTO.
|Ambassador Ngo Quang Xuan|
To shed more light on the Friday announcement made by Eirik Glenne, chairman of the WTO's general council and chairman of Viet Nam’s membership working party, Youth newspaper spoke with Ambassador Ngo Quang Xuan, chief of the Vietnamese Mission to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva.
Mr. Xuan said that the negotiation was very tense a few days ago, not only for the Vietnamese negotiation team but also for others. Members of many foreign teams in Geneva couldn’t make any decision on some matters and they had to call home to ask for opinions.
At some moment, I thought the negotiation couldn’t be concluded. However, with the attempts and supports of the teams and even WTO General Director Pascal Lamy, Viet Nam concluded it.
After Mr. Glenne announced, “Viet Nam completed the multilateral negotiation”, all members stood up and clapped their hands to congratulate Viet Nam for its hard work in the past 11 years and today achievement. At that time, I saw the joy on everyone's face.
Do you think Viet Nam paid “a high price” to come to the final agreement on October 13?
In fact, the final agreement depends on the negotiations among countries. If they wanted to gain advantage over Viet Nam, they did it during the whole process of negotiation, not only in the Friday negotiation. We had plans to cope with them in all negotiations.
The important thing is that we reached an agreement with each country in the multilateral negotiation.
In the multilateral matter, we had to take into account the relations between Viet Nam and each country and the benefits of Viet Nam and other countries, and look into their benefits.
There were issues on which some countries agreed with Viet Nam but some didn’t. Therefore, a common agreement had to be worked out.
The WTO Secretariat said Viet Nam would be officially admitted to the WTO on November 7. Meanwhile, what else will Viet Nam have to do?
|Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen looks tense at the meeting in Geneva|
All negotiation files on Viet Nam’s admission to the WTO, including commitments on goods and services, the working party’s reports on negotiations, were agreed in terms of contents and language by negotiating countries.
It can be said that this is a time to end the negotiation process.
According to the schedule, all commitment documents will be given back finally to the negotiating parties by October 18. A preparation meeting will be held on October 25 and the final multilateral negotiation will take place on October 26 for approving the whole agreed files of Viet Nam’s entry into the WTO.
After the approval, it will take 10 days to send the files to all members. Mr. Glenne will call for a general council’s special meeting to admit Viet Nam to the WTO on November 7.
Viet Nam’s National Assembly will ratify the admission and send it to the WTO Secretariat. Viet Nam will officially become the 150th member of the WTO in 30 days since the receipt of the ratified admission by WTO Secretariat.
Viet Nam has completed the basic tasks of the WTO entry; the rest is only formal procedures.
|After the Friday meeting, Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen on behalf of Viet Nam’s Government, people and negotiation team thanked all partners for their hard work, goodwill and flexibility to conclude the negotiation with Viet Nam. |
He also expressed his thanks to the General Director and Secretariat of the WTO, who worked tirelessly to help and support Viet Nam during the negotiations.
WTO General Director Pascal Lamy opened champagne, congratulating Minister Tuyen, the Vietnamese negotiation team as well as Viet Nam’s Government and people.