It is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and now Vietnam is going to be a member of the World Trade Organisation. Joining the global trade body gives the communist country better access to foreign markets and means it can take trade grievances to a neutral arbiter. In return, Vietnam will have to end subsidies for state-owned companies and its high tariffs on foreign imports.
WTO Director General Pascal Lamy said: “Vietnam is the 150th member of the organisation. Being a member of this club brings enormous advantages in terms of making sure that trade opening, which can contribute to welfare creation and poverty reduction, is done on a level playing field.”
Vietnam has negotiated to join the World Trade Organisation for nearly 12 years, during which time its once state-controlled economy underwent major reform.
Its main exports are textiles, seafood, coffee and
furniture. Average economic growth of 7.5% over the past five years is higher than any other Asian country except China. This year its on track for the economy to grow by 8.2%. Vietnam will see 5.3 billion euros worth of foreign investment this year.
With Vietnam’s imminant admittance, there are now just a handful of important economies not in the WTO. They include Russia and Ukraine, which are both negotiating entry, and Iran.