Viet Nam-US Bilateral Agreement on Viet Nam's Accession to WTO Signed

The Ministry of Trade on May 31 issued a press release on the official signing of the Viet Nam-US bilateral agreement on Viet Nam's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Following is the full text of the press release: ki_WTO.bmp

"On May 31, 2006, at the Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City, in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on behalf of the governments of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the United States, Deputy Minister of Trade of Viet Nam Luong Van Tu and US Deputy Trade Representative, Ambassador Karan Bhatia signed an official bilateral agreement on Viet Nam’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Present at the ceremony are Minister of Trade of Viet Nam Truong Dinh Tuyen, US Deputy Trade Representative, US Trade Representative-designate, Ambassador Susan Schwab, Chief Negotiator, Assistant Trade Representative Dorothy Dwoskin and representatives from government agencies of both countries engaged in the negotiations.

"After 12 rounds of negotiations in Ha Noi, Washington and Geneva, not to mention the numerous meetings and discussions at the sideline of international conferences, in the twelfth round in Washington on May 9-12, 2006, the two parties reached an agreement in principle on Viet Nam’s accession to the WTO and subsequently continued discussion on technical issues.

"As the largest economy in the world, the United States is becoming an increasingly crucial investment and trading partner of Viet Nam. As of December 2005, the US stood as the 11th biggest investor in Viet Nam with 265 projects valued at 1.45 billion USD of invested capital. According to the statistics provided by the Viet Nam’s General Department of Customs, the two-way trade value in 2005 amounted to nearly 7 billion USD .

"During bilateral negotiations with other countries on Viet Nam’s accession to the WTO, negotiations with the United States covered a broad range of issues. The United States is also the last to conclude negotiations among the 28 WTO members requesting bilateral negotiations with Viet Nam. Therefore, concluding an agreement with the US is of great significance. It marks the completion of Viet Nam’s bilateral negotiations and contributes to making the goal of becoming a WTO member in 2006 realistic. Reaching this agreement is an historic event, marking a new stride forward in the bilateral relationship, serving the interests of the two nations, creating an important premise for equitable, mutually beneficial and multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries, thus making a contribution to the success of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Ha Noi in November 2006 and the visit to Viet Nam by President George W. Bush."

Source: Vietnam News Agency