Vietnam attends 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, urges reforms

09:00 | 20/06/2022 Cooperation

(VEN) - Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien led a Vietnamese delegation to attend the 12th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva, Switzerland. The MC12 took place amid great challenges facing member states, such as post-pandemic economic recovery and international geopolitical tensions.

vietnam attends 12th wto ministerial conference urges reforms

WTO needs reforms

Minister Dien delivered a speech at the MC12, affirming his support for the multilateral trading system and Vietnam’s efforts to join hands with other WTO members to deal with difficulties and challenges facing the global economy. He emphasized the WTO role in international trade, adding that it is now time for the organization to undertake fundamental reforms in order to maintain and strengthen its core pillars and adapt promptly to profound changes and new requirements of the era.

vietnam attends 12th wto ministerial conference urges reforms
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien leads a Vietnamese delegation to attend the MC12 in Geneva, Switzerland

WTO members need to confront the root causes of these challenges and seek appropriate solutions to overcome them, Minister Dien said. The WTO should not limit itself to providing an effective negotiating platform, but should be viewed as a contributor to resolving global crises and ensuring a level playing field in the world trade.

Vietnam is ready to cooperate with WTO members in maintaining and strengthening the multilateral system, promoting and facilitating trade and investment, and ensuring supplies of goods and materials in the region and across the world, Minister Dien said.

At a meeting of the Cairns Group within the WTO, a coalition of 19 agricultural exporting countries lobbying for free trade in agriculture, Minister Dien underlined three issues that need to be prioritized. These include trade-distorting subsidies or domestic support measures affecting important commodities, such as sugar and other essential agricultural products; remedy measures that lead to unequal farm produce trade; and recently adopted measures responding to geopolitical and supply chain tensions, which directly threaten global food security.

The minister emphasized the key importance of maintaining smooth trade regardless of the pandemic or geopolitical tensions and of minimizing market-distorting measures.

Ensuring economic, environmental health

Minister Dien also addressed a debate on trade and climate change held on the sidelines of the MC12, highlighting climate change mitigation as an important goal which aims to ensure equitable development on a global scale. It is crucial to achieve carbon neutrality, he said, highlighting the need to maintain economic growth and improve living conditions for all, especially vulnerable groups.

The minister emphasized the need to promote a range of measures, such as integrating environment-related factors and climate change mitigation into commitments stipulated in trade agreements, speeding up WTO negotiations in areas likely to yield practical benefits for the environment, and strengthening activities in areas affected by climate change, such as agriculture and food security.

Minister Dien said an alliance of trade ministers to deal with climate change could be a way to realize these goals, adding that trade ministers need to strengthen cooperation and discussion.

The ministers agreed to promote environment-related activities and climate change mitigation and establish a ministerial-level coalition to strengthen discussion and cooperation on issues related to trade, environment and climate change mitigation.

Thu Thuy