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Country joins WTO as the 150th official member today

Update: January, 11/2007 - 00:00

Country joins WTO as the 150th official member today


HA NOI — Today marks Viet Nam’s official welcome as the 150th country to join the World Trade Organisation.

VuKhoan, the former Deputy Prime Minister, expects many positive changes in the nation’s economic development but only if domestic businesses can adapt to Viet Nam’s new status in the world.

Trade agreements like the one signed by the EU and Viet Nam in 2004 no longer apply as of today. Viet Nam is also expected to comply with an earlier promise to open up commodity and service markets with its key trading partners including the US, Japan and China.

These changes will likely affect economic sectors and how domestic companies do business.

Khoan says the most urgent task for Vietnamese companies is to research how the country’s WTO membership affects them directly. Ministries and industry experts must also become aware of how WTO trade agreements and regulations apply to businesses to make sure industries stay competitive, he said.

US agency honour the country

HA NOI – The US Trade and Development Agency’s (USTDA) director Thelma J. Askey will present the certificate Country of the Year 2006 to Viet Nam’s US Ambassador Nguyen Tam Chien today.
USTDA’s has bestowed the honour in response to the emergence of Viet Nam as an important economic entity in Southeast Asia and for strengthening the US-Viet Nam relationship.
The award ceremony will take place at Ronald Reagan Building in World Trade Centre. The ceremony will coincide with Viet Nam’s official joining of the WTO. — VNS

The former deputy prime minister says 2007 will bring an increase in foreign investment due to the reputation WTO membership brings worldwide.

Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen says he is concerned about individuals becoming aware of the changes facing the country. Tuyen says the nation’s economy cannot develop as expected if people are not fully aware of benefits and challenges they will face as a WTO member.

"Opportunities only come to individuals or organisations that can find out and exploit them. If people are aware, but do not act to reach the goal, there will be no positive results at all," Tuyen says.

In terms of how the government operates, sometimes it will have to make difficult decisions like shutting down some industries if they are not competitive enough, says Ton Nu Thi Ninh, Deputy Chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Foreign Relations Commission.

However, this can be looked at in a positive light as governments and companies will be forced to implement new competition strategies under the WTO, says Ninh.

Another point Khoan stresses is how businesses must study marketing and promotion to prosper, something he believes companies have not paid enough attention to in the past.

"In the market economy and integration process, customers are the decisive factor and Vietnamese enterprises have to take their protection into account more," says Khoan. He says businesses may even have to suffer losses to protect their investments in the long term. — VNS


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