In a roundtable discussion with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Director-General said:
“Viet Nam has made phenomenal progress in recent years. With GDP growth forecast at 6.4% this year, Viet Nam is among the fastest-growing markets in the world. This performance is helping to reduce poverty and change people’s lives. And I’m pleased trade is playing an important part in this transformation. As we look to the future, we must ensure that trade continues to play its full part in delivering Viet Nam’s economic objectives. I think that the WTO can continue to be an important partner in that effort.
“A central element of our work is negotiating new global trade rules. For a long time, the WTO made little progress on this front — but over the last 2 years we have changed all that. The WTO has begun to deliver — and I think some of the reforms that we are making to global trade will bring concrete results for the Vietnamese economy.”
DG Azevêdo pointed to the benefits of recent WTO agreements, such as the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which Viet Nam ratified in December and which could reduce trade costs by as much as 20 per cent for the country. He also highlighted WTO members’ decision at the Nairobi Ministerial Conference to abolish farm export subsidies, which will benefit the country’s farmers and exporters. As an exporter of high-tech products, Viet Nam will surely also benefit from the expanded Information Technology Agreement, said DG Azevêdo.
The Director-General urged Viet Nam to “get engaged — and stay engaged” in shaping the future of global trade talks so that global trade continues to support its journey of development. His full speech is available here.
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