|WTO Director General Pascal Lamy (L) and Vietnamese Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen finish signing the protocol.|
The World Trade Organization officially admitted Viet Nam as its 150th member during a special meeting of the WTO General Council on Tuesday, opening up a new era of international commerce and investment for one of Asia's fastest growing economies.
In Geneva, Switzerland, WTO General Council chairman Eirick Glenne approved Viet Nam’s membership at 11 AM with the consensus of all 149 WTO members. The decision by the General Council brought Viet Nam's 11-year long negotiation process to join the world's largest trade body to a successful end.
The meeting was followed by the signing of the protocol on Viet Nam's WTO accession between Vietnamese Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen and WTO Director General Pascal Lamy. Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem, who was also head of the Viet Nam delegation to the accession ceremony, witnessed the signing.
|WTO Director General Pascal Lamy (L) toasts with Vietnamese Deputy PM Pham Gia Khiem|
Addressing the ceremony, Director General Pascal stressed that Viet Nam’s accession has helped improve the prestige of the largest trade body. It will not only benefit Viet Nam but also all WTO members, he added.
Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen said, "WTO membership also helps Viet Nam refine its reform process, creating opportunities for trade expansion, which is an important tool for economic growth.”
"WTO accession poses major challenges to Viet Nam’s economy. However, we do believe that with cooperation extended by the members, Viet Nam will make the most of opportunities," he added.
Regional representatives of WTO members congratulated Viet Nam and expressed their belief that their cooperation with Viet Nam will be further developed.
Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem delivered a speech emphasizing that Viet Nam’s entry to the WTO is “an event of great significance, marking an important step for Viet Nam's participation in the global trading system on an equal footing with all other WTO members.”
Viet Nam’s National Assembly is expected to ratify the Geneva decision on November 28.
What Viet Nam has committed
The package of Viet Nam’s accession documents consists of:
• Viet Nam’s commitments on goods — the 560-page list for “schedule”) of tariffs, quotas and ceilings on agricultural subsidies, and in some cases the timetable for phasing in the cuts
• Viet Nam’s commitments on services — the 60-page document (also a “schedule”) describing in which services it is giving access to foreign service providers and any additional conditions, including limits on foreign ownership
• The working party’s 260-page report — describing Viet Nam’s legal and institutional set up for trade, along with commitments it has made in many of these areas.
These are some highlights
WTO Set to Admit Viet Nam as 150th Member
Viet Nam’s New Position in the World
Trade Minister Talks WTO Membership
Viet Nam’s Accession to be a Crucial Help to WTO