Today: Vietnam Becomes Full Member of the WTO

Vietnam got the WTO membership card today, January 11 in a ceremony of admitting Vietnam into the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland. WTO_Vietnam_024_06.jpg

The Vietnamese Ambassador to the WTO and the members of the Vietnamese delegation, as well as the WTO Secretariat attended the ceremony.

“There will be no party as WTO admitted Vietnam already on November 7, 2006, but there will be champagne to mark the historical milestone for Vietnam,” said Le Quang Xuan, Head of the Vietnam Delegation in Geneva.

A big bandrolle with words "Welcome Vietnam - the 150th Member of WTO" congratulating Vietnam as an official member of the WTO is hanging up against the wall of the WTO building in Geneva, which has never been seen in WTO history. Vietnamese officials and passing foreigners all try to take pictures with the bandrolle.

Right after becoming a full member of the WTO, a lot of commitments Vietnam has made for joining the WTO will become effective. According to the Ministry of Finance, 1,812 categories of taxes will be reduced by 30-40% on average.

The products that have high tariffs of over 30% and will see the tax reduction as of January 11 are: textile and apparel products (63%), footwear (20%), flowers and ornamental trees (25%), several kinds of vegetables (40%), vegetable oil (20-40%), cosmetics of different kinds (20-40%), home used plastics (20%), confectionaries (20-30%), processed meat (20%), paper products (10-20%), the products relating to electrical equipments (20%), and some other kinds of groceries (20-25%).

The Ministry of Trade has completed the plan on the policies Vietnam will follow in the WTO period in order to ensure the sustainable economic growth rate in the new era.

A series of solutions have been mentioned in the development plan, including the completion of the legal framework to make it fit the new conditions. Besides, the plan has also mentioned the need to raise the national competitiveness, considering this the key task of the communist party, the State and enterprises for the new period of development.

Source: Vietnam Net

Statement by U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab on Vietnam Becoming WTO Member (Washington DC Jan 11 2007)

U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab today welcomed Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization with the following statement.

"This is an historic day for Vietnam and the rules-based global trading system. It marks the beginning of a new era in the political and economic relationship between our two countries – an era that will witness expanding economic opportunities and cooperation,” said Ambassador Schwab. “Vietnam's membership in the World Trade Organization is also a sign of U.S. commitment to strengthening the multilateral trading system. We welcome Vietnam as the 150th WTO Member and regard this step as an important milestone in the continuing process of expanding commerce and raising living standards around the world.”


U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez today released the following statement on Vietnam's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"The Administration welcomes Vietnam's entry into the WTO,” said Gutierrez.

“This is a significant step forward for our relationship with Vietnam. Vietnam’s integration into the global economy will open the doors of opportunity for people from both countries to develop closer trade ties and will help American businesses increase exports.”