14:22 | 29/08/2014 Cooperation
(VEN) - Vietnam must build firm foundations for its integration into the global economy and achieve a high consensus on the necessity of international economic integration. It must be made clear that international integration will help Vietnam restructure the national economy and allocate resources in a more effective and transparent manner.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, Head of the government’s negotiation delegation on international economic integration, shared his opinion.
Taking the initiative
In recent years, Vietnam has actively promoted international economic integration at multilateral, regional and bilateral levels. It has taken the initiative in catching new opportunities and coping with new challenges posed by international integration.
Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Khanh said that from the multilateral aspect, Vietnam has become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2007. From the regional point of view, Vietnam has become a full member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and then the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in the mid-1990s.
Together with other ASEAN members, Vietnam has joined free trade agreements (FTAs) between ASEAN and China, India, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Vietnam has signed a number of important bilateral agreements such as the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement and the Japan-Vietnam Economic Partnership Agreement.
So far, Vietnam has joined eight FTAs, including six FTAs between ASEAN and partner countries and two bilateral FTAs with Japan and Chile. Vietnam is actively negotiating six other FTAs such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the FTA with the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and the FTA with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which consists of Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Notably, Vietnam is negotiating an FTA with the EU and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - these multilateral trade agreements would facilitate trade liberalization at a higher level. As a member of these agreements, Vietnam will have to implement deeper commitments related to not only traditional issues such as goods and services but also non-traditional issues such as labor, the environment and e-commerce.
Restructuring the economy
To successfully integrate into the global economy, in the opinion of Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, Vietnam must build firm foundations and a high consensus on the necessity of international economic integration. It must be aware that international integration will help Vietnam restructure the national economy and allocate resources in a more effective and transparent manner. Efforts to restructure the domestic economy must be considered as the foundation of international economic integration.
Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Khanh emphasized that to deepen Vietnam’s integration into the global economy, Vietnamese businesses must take the initiative in effectively implementing restructuring programs.
In his opinion, in a multilayer environment, Vietnam must have clear strategies and choose suitable partners to boost international economic integration at suitable levels. As a small economy, Vietnam must attach great importance to the role of the WTO’s multilateral trading system. “There will possibly be specific priorities for each period but these priorities must be based on major principles of the WTO’s multilateral trading system and look towards the final goal of strengthening this system,” Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Khanh added.
In the era of economic globalization, developing countries like Vietnam have been offered special and different treatment. Vietnam can take advantage but not abuse this special and different treatment. Vietnam must further improve its legal system to ensure transparency and create a favorable business environment./.
By Hoa Le