Vietnam stands ready to cooperate with WTO members in fostering a multilateral trade system, seen as the foundation to facilitate trade and investment, and avoid disruption to the global supply chain.
|Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien at the event. Source: congthuong.vn|
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien gave the remarks at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), taking place on June 12-15 at the WTO headquarters in Geneva.
The event drew the participation of trade ministers and high-ranking officials from 164 WTO members at a time when the global economy is facing enormous challenges in addressing the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as geopolitical tensions leading to high food security risks and economic recession.
According to Dien, thanks to continual efforts from WTO members, there has been a recovery of economic, trade, and investment activities around the world, but uncertainties are still lying ahead.
“Never have we observed the issues on healthcare, environment, food security, and supply-chain disruption become more pressing and urgent than today,” he said.
Dien called for WTO members to confront the root causes of these challenges and explore appropriate solutions so that the WTO can overcome them and continuously improve its operational efficiency.
“The WTO should not be limited itself to providing an effective negotiating platform, but also need to be a contributor to solving global crises, whilst maintaining and ensuring a level playing field in the world trade,” he added.
Dien said that since joining the WTO, Vietnam has been and will continue to be committed to the multilateral trading system.
“We are ready to cooperate with WTO members in maintaining and strengthening the multilateral system with WTO at its core, in promoting and facilitating trade and investment, as well as in ensuring the vital supplies of goods and materials in the region and across the world,” he stressed.
At the same time, the country is willing to stand with other members in ensuring sustainable development for the world economy, bringing inclusive benefits while striving to provide practical support to the developing and least developed members.
Dien noted that Vietnam is attaching great importance to key WTO negotiations such as fisheries and agricultural subsidies while expecting members to focus on topics of urgency and interest such as securing a supply of food and essential goods for the people comprehensively and practically.
At a session discussing trade and climate change, Minister Dien noted enhancing climate resilience is a key priority for the world to ensure fair and sustainable development.
“One of the key issues would be to realize carbon neutrality while keeping up with economic growth and improving people’s living standards, especially for vulnerable groups,” he said.
Dien stressed the view that such a process should consider each country’s characteristics and conditions, including the development levels of countries.
|The topmost decision-making body of the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which usually meets every two years. It brings together all members of the WTO, all of which are countries or customs unions. The Ministerial Conference can take decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.|