VN affirms its commitment to multilateral trading system

Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017 15:05

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh delivers a speech at the plenary session of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, taking place in Argentina on December 11. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Lan

Viet Nam commits to the multilateral trading system and is ready to cooperate with other World Trade Organisation (WTO) members on WTO issues.

This affirmation was made by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh while speaking at the plenary session of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, taking place in Argentina on December 11.

Appreciating the role of the WTO, Khanh emphasised that there have been many changes since the 10th WTO Ministerial Meeting to date.

Many bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) and regional trade agreements (RTAs) have been further negotiated. Meanwhile, populism, especially trade protectionism, has come back strongly, with potential risks to global trade, as well as to the multilateral trading system.

The deputy minister said that the multilateral trading system has some shortcomings, which are not suitable to the changing of the era.

He stressed that the organisation should come up with solutions to overcome the limitations and improve the quality of operation, so that it is not only an effective negotiating forum but also a respected authority in maintaining and ensuring fairness in world trade.

The head of the Vietnamese delegation to the conference called on the WTO member countries to make maximum and flexible efforts to achieve positive negotiating results, providing an important foundation for addressing key problems in the near future.

Deputy Minister Khanh warned that if the negotiating session fails to yield such positive results, it would negatively impact the multilateral trading system, as well as the fragile recovery of the world economy.

He expressed Viet Nam’s willingness to cooperate with other WTO members on WTO issues.

He said that at a recent APEC Summit in Da Nang, Viet Nam contributed to the APEC Leaders’ Declaration on cooperation to improve WTO operations, which included mechanisms for negotiation and monitoring and dispute resolution, in order to properly handle the challenges that the system is facing, and benefit all people and businesses.

Khanh stressed that in addition to consolidating and strengthening the WTO’s operation mechanism, the organisation should be expanded.

He expressed the expectation that the conference will achieve important results, facilitating countries to promote negotiations, implement the WTO commitments and bring great and practical benefits for the development of its members.

The 11th WTO Ministerial Conference opened in Buenos Aires on December 10 with the participation of more than 4,000 delegates from 164 member countries.

During the four working days, nearly 180 ministers will discuss key issues such as food security, agriculture development, fisheries support, e-commerce and tax on industrial products. They will also seek measures to support the development of small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), attract investment, and promote trade exchanges and environmental protection. — VNS

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