Prime Minister welcomes WTO’s Director-General

Vietnam attaches importance to its role as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), stated Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc at his reception for WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo in Hanoi yesterday.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (right) welcomes WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo in Hanoi yesterday.

Welcoming the WTO leader’s visit to Vietnam, PM Phúc stressed that this was a good chance for the WTO leader and Vietnamese officials to discuss increasing co-operation between the two sides.

Confirming Vietnam’s policy of extensive international integration, he said that Vietnam had negotiated and signed several bilateral and regional free trade agreements and actively participated in WTO activities.

He informed the guest of the country’s ratification of a Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) as well as its preparations to ratify a protocol amending the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in October.

The Government leader expressed his hope that the WTO would continue supporting Vietnam, particularly in the training of skilled human resources and legal experts, and in improving the capacity of Vietnamese businesses in international trade activities.

The WTO Director-General said that Vietnam had great potential for further development as an active member of the WTO.

The Vietnamese economy was growing with an increasing level of quality through the rise of hi-tech industries, he said.

He suggested Vietnam contribute to building the WTO’s future working agenda as a way to heighten its role and position in the organisation.

The guest called for a step up in cooperation with Vietnam, particularly in capacity building and training for personnel working for international integration.

He welcomed Vietnam’s preparations for ratifying TRIPS, saying this important document was tailored to help less-developed countries access pharmaceuticals for medical treatment.

The WTO Director-General affirmed that the WTO was willing to support Vietnam in its integration into the global multilateral trade system, as well as during its socio-economic development process.

Vietnam benefits

Vietnam had made good use of opportunities brought about by the country’s membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO),  said Azevêdo later at a dialogue with Vietnamese businesses yesterday.

The WTO Director-General said Vietnam was among the members having benefited the most from the WTO, earning around US$3.6 billion as a result of WTO assistance.

He underlined the remarkable changes in Vietnam  both before and after it joined the WTO, citing noteworthy trade liberalisation, lower taxes and positive reforms in the service sector. The enforcement and protection of intellectual property had also been improved clearly, he said, adding that the Vietnamese Government had taken steps to modernize the economy and create a more attractive and favourable business environment.

With all those moves, Vietnam enhanced its prestige among the international business community, which it would not have achieved without joining the WTO, Azevêdo said. He added that WTO membership also helped Vietnam avoid trade protection measures and non-trade barriers that are on the rise.

Sharing this view, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Trần Quốc Khánh, reported that Vietnam’s foreign trade value had risen threefold since its WTO accession, while substantial changes had been seen in the country’s institutional environment.

Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vũ Tiến Lộc, affirmed that accession to the WTO forced Việt Nam to follow world standards.

According to the WTO Director General, Vietnam is on the right track in the process of international integration and trade liberalisation. He appreciated Vietnam’s efforts in joining regional and bilateral free trade agreements alongside the multilateral trade institution of the WTO.

Multilateral and bilateral mechanisms would supplement each other and assist with Việt Nam’s integration process, he said, adding that there is no other choice for Viêt Nam than to strive to meet world trade standards.


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