Viet Nam has been given the go-ahead to join the World Trade Organization, bringing to an end a 12-year journey for the nation to become the 150th WTO member before the end of the year, with official membership set for early January.
A WTO working party of the US, EU, China, Japan and Canada approved documents setting out the terms of Viet Nam’s accession on Thursday.
The entry documents will go before a meeting of the WTO General Council, probably on November 7. Diplomats say approval is a foregone conclusion.
Among the three documents approved Thursday, one has 560 pages listing Viet Nam’s tariffs in detail, quotas, agricultural subsidies and the schedules to cut them gradually.
Another document on services such as banking, insurance and telecommunications sets out the areas Vietnam is opening to foreign providers, including a fact that foreigners will be allowed to own houses. The document also details limits Viet Nam may impose.
The third document describes Viet Nam’s legal and institutional trade regime and lists the commitments it has made during negotiations.
The country’s National Assembly will have to ratify the accords and formally advise the WTO it has done so. Exactly 30 days later, the nation will officially become a member.