WTO Secretariat: Vietnam Making Important Progress

Vietnam has made important progress in its negotiations for WTO admission, particularly after the Working Group on Vietnam's entry carefully studied the first revised draft of the group's report last month.

This assessment was made by Shishir Priyadarshi, representative of the WTO Secretariat, at a national seminar, "Vietnam's WTO accession: Opportunities and Challenges," held by the foreign ministry in Hanoi Thursday.

Experts from the World Bank, UNDP, China, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AMCHAM), and representatives of Vietnamese ministries and services attended the seminar.

Priyadarshi said he had a good impression of Vietnam's economic and legal reforms. He said Vietnam's conclusion of bilateral negotiations with 21 partners and its current negotiations with some other important partners on opening its market would create an impetus for it to conclude the process for WTO accession early.

The WTO members praised Vietnam for making a series of new commitments on supplementary tax, export support, free trade areas, and special economic zones at the recent multilateral negotiations, he said.

Pros and cons

Vietnamese and foreign experts agreed WTO membership would provide the country the opportunity to expand commercial exchanges, expand trade, and become on a par with other nations in the world economic community. It would also help Vietnam avoid losing out in trade disputes.

However, in joining the WTO, it would also face major challenges. Domestic businesses would be under great threat because of their low competitiveness and the gap between the rich and poor would widen.

Speaking at the seminar, foreign minister Nguyen Dy Nien said the Vietnamese government understood that opportunities and challenges always went hand-in-hand, especially for such an underdeveloped economy as Vietnam’s – a country where 70 per cent of the population were still farmers.

Nien said, however, that experiences from nearly 20 years of renovation and economic integration showed this was the right roadmap for industrialization and modernization.

The minister said conducting negotiations for WTO accession was the next step for Vietnam to further integrate into the world economy.

(Source: VNA)
Story from Thanh Nien News
Published: 06 October, 2005, 21:05:12 (GMT+7)
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