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NA Standing Committee readjusts 2005 legal programme to serve WTO negotiation process
Youth Newspaper (07:54:00 05-03-05)



The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee met in Hanoi on Friday to hear a Government report on Vietnamís negotiation process for admission to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and readjust the 2005 legal programme to serve the negotiation process.


At the meeting, Minister of Trade Truong Dinh Tuyen informed the NA Standing Committee about Vietnamís WTO negotiation process. Since its official application for WTO membership in January 1995, Vietnam has held 9 working sessions in this connection and conducted bilateral negotiations with 20 partners in which it was finished with six partners. These negotiations were held bilaterally and multilaterally with the aim of abiding by the WTO agreements and opening up commodities and services markets.

In the latest round of negotiations last December, eight key issues on Vietnamís WTO admission were discussed with a focus on the law-making programmes to serve the negotiation process. Under the programme, Vietnam will abide by the principles of the Most Favoured Nation Status, pledge to open up goods and services markets and outline a roadmap from now to 2009 aimed at abolishing discrimination in the field of export-import activities between foreign and Vietnamese enterprises, iron out all snags to the import of goods, quotas and subsidies for the exports of agricultural and non-agricultural products, and remove dual-price mechanism later this year.

Addressing the meeting, NA Chairman Nguyen Van An said in order to enter the WTO this year, the Government should accelerate the negotiation process and basically finalise negotiations in June or July. Meanwhile, bilateral negotiations remain a great challenge to Vietnam as the country still has to negotiate with 21 partners, including major partners such as the US, China, Japan and Canada. Therefore, the Government should try its best and consider every possibility to help the country accede to the WTO soon.


Law agenda in WTO bid
07/Mar/2005 Dau Tu (VIR) page 1

In a bid to conclude negotiations on Vietnam's entry into the World Trade Organisation, upon consideration and assessment on reality of negotiation process, the government by late last week submitted an official letter to the National Assembly's Standing Committee proposing to adjust the law building programme to serve negotiations on Vietnam's entry to the world trade body.


On the sideline of the conference, Dau Tu had a talk with trade minister Truong Dinh Tuyen over law amendment and results of Vietnam's entry into the WTO. Excerpts:


How is negotiation process of Vietnam's entry into the WTO progressing?


We applied to join the WTO in January 1995 and jumpstarted negotiations to enter into this organisation in July 1998. To date, Vietnam has conducted nine sessions of the working board on Vietnam's entry into the WTO and opened bilateral negotiations with more than 20 partners. Reportedly, at multilateral negotiations, partners wished to clarify our trade statutes and to negotiate on adjusting such laws according to principles interpreted in the WTO agreements. At the ninth session December 2004, based on progress made in fulfilment of the WTO's statues, the working board presented a draft report to members for consideration, which marked a new phase for negotiations on Vietnam's entry into the WTO.

What about fields of bilateral negotiations?


To date, twenty seven partners have asked for bilateral negotiations with Vietnam on both goods and services. Accordingly, Vietnam has concluded negotiations with six partners of Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Chile, the EU and Singapore. It is scheduled in March we will open talks with Japan, the US and some other partners.

Though having not specified time for entry into the WTO, Vietnam will make the greatest effort to speed up bilateral negotiations. We also wish partners to apply preferential treatment to Vietnam that is a transitional country at a low level of development so that Vietnam is able to end bilateral negotiations with such partners this year.


Will the speeding up of completion of legal matters that the government has recently submitted to the NA Standing Committee support the negotiation process?

Absolutely right. The law-building programme is one of key documents demonstrating commitments of an applicant in realising the WTO obligations and is one of the most important aspects of negotiations on entry to the WTO. The aforesaid programme is designed by the applicant upon rechecking its legal system. Adjusting the legal system according to the WTO's rules is always a difficult task requiring involvement of many different agencies and human resources. Thus, a transparent, detailed and highly feasible law-building programme is something which clearly demonstrates the determinations of Vietnam on the path to the WTO.

How many laws will be amended or new laws issued?

Upon rechecking the whole legal system, Vietnam has drawn up a law building programme serving for negotiations on joining into the WTO including 30 legal documents covering different fields which are all under the authority of the NA. The majority include new legal documents and amended and supplemented laws. The remainder are legal documents that have been amended or supplemented or new laws issues, which are aimed at making the government's policy system transparent, increasing administrative efficiency and the final transition to a market-based economy, which is not directly related to the WTO obligations.

Despite approval of the NA Standing Committee, will the government and state agencies have enough time to deal with the large volume of legal changes?


The number of legal documents that must be changed is large and this workload has already been defined in the NA's law building programme for 2005. The two biggest law building projects is the Unified Business Law and the Amended Law on Investment by the planning and investment ministry, the government determined to submit them in the next conference session.



Lawmakers gear up for WTO bid



The National Assembly (NA) will work ďdays and nightsĒ to finish the legislation program for Vietnamís World Trade Organization membership negotiations, pledged the top lawmaker Friday.


In a NA Standing Committee meeting in Hanoi, NA Chairman Nguyen Van An and most committee members showed their support for the cabinetís efforts to join the WTO and swore to adjust and speed up their lawmaking program.


During the meeting, Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen reported matters concerning the legislation program.


The minister, on behalf of the government, also proposed that the NA Standing Committee adjust the program for 2005.


The NA Standing Committee asked the government to promptly require relevant agencies to make preparations for amendments and supplements to the related laws and ordinances and make an official report on the adjustment of the program at the seventh session of the NA in May this year.


(Source: Vietnam News Agency Ė Translated by The Vinh)