Final steps on the 12-year WTO road may be made in November

October 30, 2006 | 17:39
Vietnam’s 12-year journey to WTO accession is due to end in early November.WTO Accession for Vietnam Working Party chairman Eirik Glenne last week declared that the country had concluded all the necessary negotiations to become a full member of the global trade body and an admission ceremony was expected in early November.

The working party for Vietnam’s WTO Accession give themselves a round of applause at the end of negotiations

“The session of the Working Party on October 26, which was the last one, reviewed and adopted the Working Party’s report, the Protocol of Accession, the Schedule of Commitments on Goods and the Schedule of Commitments on Services,” said Tran Quoc Khanh, director of Multilateral Trade Policy Department at the Ministry of Trade (MoT) and a key member of negotiating team, told Vietnam Investment Review.
“These documents are now in good shape and ready for circulation and then adoption at the meeting of the General Council which is expected to take place on November 7,” Khanh said.
MoT minister Truong Dinh Tuyen told the last Working Party session that Vietnam had taken on “extensive and far-reaching commitments” to open markets and reform economic policy and he hoped Vietnam’s membership in the global commerce body would allow it to continue its economic momentum.
US diplomat William Tagliani also stressed that Vietnam’s desire to join the WTO was a vote of confidence in the body and its membership would be an important addition to the organisation.
“When you learn that you have just concluded the 12-year long negotiations, you will see yourself full of happiness and satisfaction. That’s what the people felt at the last negotiation round. Shaking hands, congratulating each other, hugging each other in tears, smiling faces…Everybody was so happy to see Vietnam triumphantly stepping into the WTO doors,” Khanh said.
After the General Council officially adopts Vietnam into the global trade body, Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet will submit the Protocol of Accession to the National Assembly for its approval, which is expected on November 27th. On the same day, Minister of Trade Truong Dinh Tuyen will also report to the National Assembly on negotiation results.
The National Assembly is expected to approve the Protocol of Accession on the next day, which will enable Vietnam to become the 150th member of the WTO a month later.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently announ-ced that Vietnam’s commitments in WTO accession will be widely publicised in November and he asked ministries with dealings in trade to closely cooperate with the central government to make full and final preparation for Vietnam’s official integration at the end of this year.

No. 785/October 30-November 5, 2006

By Lien Huong

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