Seminar reviews VN’s five-year WTO membership
01/03/2012 11:58:00

VGP - Five years after Việt Nam became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the national annual trade value has risen to 1.5 times more than its GDP thanks to a boom in exports.

The figure was revealed by Former Trade Minister and Former Head of Việt Nam’s trade negotiating team Trương Đình Tuyển at a seminar held yesterday in Hà Nội to review Việt Nam’s five-year membership of the WTO.

The seminar was jointly held by the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the EU’s Multilateral Trade Assistance Project (MUTRAP).

Vietnamese exports such as rice, coffee, garments and textiles, crude oil and aquatic products have all made their mark in the international market.

Việt Nam’s average income per capita was US$1,200, a three-fold increase from US$400 five year ago.

The WTO positive impacts could be seen clearly in the FDI flow, in the garments and textiles, agricultural produce and aquatic products sectors.

Foreign investors have also taken advantage of Việt Nam’s ability to produce consumer goods for export such as electronic products. he retail market has also expanded rapidly.

Vietnamese businesses have seen their competitiveness rocket since a large number of foreign businesses flocked into the country as a result of integration.

However, after five years of being a WTO member however, many Vietnamese businesses still show failings in sourcing capital, technology, management and long-term strategies. They still do not quite understand many common international practices, regulations and laws on trade. Việt Nam has yet to make a name for itself in regional and international markets.

The biggest challenges to the country’s ability to integrate into the global economy included the global financial crisis and the fluctuation in world energy and food prices.

An expert suggested that Vietnamese businesses identify their advantages and strengths to gain a foothold in the world market.

Delegates at the seminar agreed on the need for the State, businesses and products to raise their competitiveness, modernize their technologies and develop adequate human resources.

The WTO offers both challenges and opportunities for each member, however, the question is how to take advantage of the challenges by turning them into opportunities./.