Director-General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who wrapped up a working visit to Vietnam on Friday, hailed the country’s socio-economic development achievements, saying the Southeast Asian country’s economic reforms have set an example to many other countries around the world.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Thursday hosted a reception for Okonjo-Iweala.
The government leader affirmed that Vietnam has proactively and actively enhanced its global economic integration in a deep, comprehensive, practical, and effective manner.
Vietnam exported US$371 billion worth of products last year and was among the 20 leading economies in terms of international trade.
The country has signed some 100 bilateral and multilateral trade agreements and over 60 investment protection and encouragement deals.
Under the WTO’s principles, Vietnam concluded and is implementing 15 free trade agreements (FTAs), including three new-generation FTAs—the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the European Union - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and the United Kingdom-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).
The country has also finished negotiations for an FTA with Israel. The deal is expected to be inked this year.
The prime minister also spoke highly of the role and efforts of Okonjo-Iweala in managing and promoting the WTO’s activities, as well as congratulated her on the impressive achievements she’s made since taking office in March 2021.
As a responsible member of the WTO, Vietnam will promote its role in the organization’s cooperative frameworks, strive to fulfill its commitments, and make positive contributions to issues of common concern, PM Chinh affirmed.
He expressed his hope that the WTO will continue provisioning its operating role to boost global trade and supporting member countries, particularly developing and underdeveloped countries, to grasp opportunities from shifting trends and the restructuring supply chains.
The WTO director-general congratulated Vietnam on its socio-economic development achievements, saying that the country has inspired and provided experience to many countries around the world, especially in terms of economic diplomacy.
She also applauded Vietnam’s positive growth thanks to its capability to regulate financial and monetary policies flexibly and effectively, regardless of the global economic downturn.
Okonjo-Iweala agreed with PM Chinh’s viewpoints on the WTO’s reform as well as the enhancement of the cooperation between the organization and Vietnam, saying that the WTO wants to cooperate with Vietnam in developing a green economy, a digital economy, an inclusive economy, as well as in caring for vulnerable groups, women, and children so that no one is left behind.
|Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son meets with WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on May 18, 2023. Photo: Danh Khang / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son on Thursday also met with WTO Director-General Okonjo-Iweala to discuss Vietnam’s economic and trade development.
Okonjo-Iweala hoped that Vietnam will share its experience with other developing countries.
She also expressed wishes that Vietnam will actively contribute to the WTO’s cooperative priorities, ratify the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, and support the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference next year.