|Ambassador Nguyen Trung Thanh —VNA Photo
GENEVA (VNS) — A World Trade Organisation (WTO) forum in Geneva last Friday was given an overview of Viet Nam's economic developments as well as opportunities and challenges facing EU businesses when investing in the country.
Ambassador Nguyen Trung Thanh, Viet Nam's permanent representative to the United Nations, the WTO, and other international organisations in Geneva, highlighted the role of world trade in Viet Nam's economic success.
He said the achievements was making an accelerated transition to a more modern market economy and becoming more integrated into the global market.
After 15 years as a WTO member, Viet Nam had enjoyed a more than 10-fold increase in trade turnover.
The ambassador said that the year 2012 marked the first time the country recorded a trade surplus in the past 20 years.
In the first eight months of 2014, foreign trade turnover hit US$191.4 billion, a year-on-year rise of 12.5 per cent. Of this, imports were valued at $94.16 billion, while export revenue reached $97.23 billion.
Viet Nam has enjoyed macro-economic stability with lower inflation, growing trade and an increase in investment, Thanh said.
However, he added that the economic growth rate had slowed due to the slow restructuring of the banking system and State-owned enterprises.
The country was also facing the middle-income trap and still lacked outstanding policy-makers, economists and skilled workers.
Thanh said economic growth in an open market mechanism was placing a burden on natural resources and the development of a sustainable environmental.
He confirmed Viet Nam's commitment to continue with economic reform, maintain a stable political situation, create a social consensus in economic policies and become a cheap and safe destination for tourists.
Regarding relations between Viet Nam and the EU, an important trade partner and investor, the diplomat said both sides experienced strong development in bilateral economic and trade ties during the past decade.
He attributed the development to a number of agreements signed between the two sides, notably the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA). They were also negotiating a free-trade agreement (FTA), which is expected to be signed by the end of the year.
Last year, the value of EU exports to Viet Nam increased by 4.2 per cent against the previous year. The union was the sixth largest investor of Viet Nam in 2013 with 71 newly-registered projects.
In coming years, Thanh said Viet Nam would expand negotiations on bilateral trade agreements, prioritise developing information technology and support industries, reduce the export of natural resources and facilitate the operation of businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones, he stated.
This year's WTO Public Forum was held from October 1-3. — VNS