The World Trade Organization’s door has opened wide for Viet Nam now that the 14th session of multilateral negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland has concluded.
The parties concerned will deal with the remaining issues before they gather for the final negotiating session on October 25 or 26 to approve the bilateral and multilateral agreements, said Deputy Minister of Trade Luong Van Tu, head of the Vietnamese negotiation team.
The WTO will consider admitting Viet Nam at its General Council’s meeting in early November.
By finishing the 14th session of multilateral negotiations and having reached agreement with all 28 WTO members who require bilateral negotiations, Viet Nam has entered the final stage of its long WTO negotiation process.
Viet Nam officially applied for WTO membership in 1995. Since then, the country has made great efforts to satisfy the requirements of the WTO task force, especially WTO members who require bilateral negotiations.
According to deputy minister Tu, almost all the partners acknowledge the Vietnamese National Assembly’s recent efforts to revise laws in accordance with the country’s administrative reform and economic renewal, as well as international practices.
In addition to revising existing legal documents, Viet Nam has promulgated more than 20 new laws and ordinances in order to comply with the WTO’s regulations.
These laws, including the Commercial Law, the Law on Intellectual Property Rights, the Investment Law, the Enterprise Law and the Law on Competition, have been applauded by its international partners.
Viet Nam was one of the first nations to not only bring in new laws but also revise existing ones in order to make them conform to the WTO regulations ahead of joining the organization.
Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen noted that although Viet Nam was a developing country and its economy was in transition, its commitments were greater than those of other WTO members at a similar level of development.
Viet Nam has even pledged to abolish export subsidies for its agricultural products as soon as it becomes a WTO member, Mr. Tuyen stressed.
In both the bilateral and multilateral negotiations, Viet Nam did its best to reach agreement on tariff reductions and market opening, especially in areas deemed sensitive to its economy.
While facing difficulties in the negotiations, the country has received great support in many ways from the international community, the Vietnamese negotiators said.
Viet Nam has overcome the hardest obstacles on the path to WTO membership. However, its administrative agencies and business organizations need to seek proper ways to effectively integrate into the global ‘playground’, take full advantage of every opportunity, and minimize risk.