Leadership Council for Human Rights

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

WTO may admit Vietnam on October 10

As reported by VietNamNet today, Ngo Quang Xuan—the Vietnamese Ambassador to the World Trade Organization—stated that there is a possibility for the nation to be admitted by the WTO as early as October 10 or 11th.

This announcement came earlier than perhaps expected. It was just last Wednesday that Vietnam and the United States settled a bilateral market agreement—this was a vital step for Vietnam to even be considered as a possible WTO member. However, according to WTO’s General Director, Mr. Pascal Lamy, the biggest obstacle was the bilateral negotiation with the US. Now that the agreement has been settled, Lamy sees no reason why the rest of the admittance process would last beyond early October.

According to this piece:

“The admission ceremony could be organized at the headquarters of WTO in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The first multilateral negotiation for Vietnam’s accession to WTO is scheduled in July 2006. Mr Xuan said that at this round, 28 partners would likely continue to put pressure on Vietnam to reach their final goals. However, now that Vietnam has reached agreement with the US in bilateral negotiation, the multilateral round of negotiation should be swift.

“That’s also the reason for WTO General Director Pascal Lamy’s optimism for Vietnam’s admission to WTO this October. Mr Pascal Lamy agreed with Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen about the negotiation and admission schedule of Vietnam to the WTO, on the sidelines of the APEC Trade Ministerial Meeting several days ago.

“Reviewing the recent bilateral negotiations, Ambassador Ngo Quang Xuan, said that the most difficult partner is the US, followed by Honduras and Dominica.

“According to him, representatives from Honduras and Dominica always seek the right of initial negotiation on every category of goods. Having this right means that said partner can ask to re-negotiate on any type of goods, even once Vietnam is in the WTO. This is unacceptable and difficult to realize because there are thousands of tax lines the require negotiation.”

To read the article in full, click here


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