Launching Event "The Committee on International Trade Policies & The Portal on WTO and Economic Integration"

Time: 8 – 11 a.m, Jan 29th, 2010

Venue: International Conference Center, 11 Le Hong Phong, Hanoi

On 29/01/2010, in Hanoi, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) organized a launching event for the Committee on International Trade Policies and the Portal on WTO an Economic Integration. There were  more than 130 representatives from competent authorities in charge of making policy, negotiating and implementing international commitments, business associations and press agencies participating in the event.

The Committee on International Trade Policies and the Portal on Economic Integration are two major component activities of the Program “Enterprises and International Trade Policies” of VCCI, , in the framework of EU – Vietnam MUTRAP III (the Multilateral Trade Assistance Project, Phrase III), sponsored by the European Union.

The Program aims to enhance the participation of business community into the process of shaping policy, negotiating and implementing international trade commitments, bringing in remedies to current shortcomings that some international commitments seem not suitable or have negative impacts on the development of some enterprises/industries and labors.

According to Mr. Tran Huu Huynh, Deputy Secretary of VCCI – President of the Committee on International Trade Policies, currently there is not an official mechanism for enterprises to take part in, raise their voice or pass opinions to negotiating authorities about their demands, interests and other issues on international trade policies. As a result, negotiating authorities are lack of a “practical input” to have appropriate negotiating strategies and business community is lack of information to take advantage of international commitments as well as to prepare to take challenge. The reality of implementing international commitments, especially in recent years, shows the consequence of this situation.

In the context of increasing international economic integration, the situation that the Government is taking part in more and more FTA negotiations as well as negotiations in the framework of Doha Round of WTO and other important international treaties, increasing the participation of business community in the process of negotiating and implementing international trade commitments of the Government is really necessary and useful for both the Government and business community to remedy the above shortcomings.

Sharing the same point of view with Mr. Huynh on the necessity of harmonizing interests  of  public and private sectors in the process of negotiating and implementing international trade policies, Mr. Hans Farnhammer, Head of Economic Co-operation and Governance of European of The Delegation of the European Union to Viet Nam and Ms. Nguyen Hoang Thuy, Project Director of MUTRAP III insisted  that European Union and MUTRAP III pay high attention to this issue and they are at the same time granting 03 other Associations to step by step improve the capacity on international trade policies for Vietnamese business associations.

Representatives of many business associations and relevant agencies also state that business community has little chance to take part in the process of making policy, negotiating and implementing international trade commitments and thus the establishment of the Committee on International Trade Policies of VCCI is highly appreciated. Participants at the event also have high expectation of this Committee to become a link, a forum for open discussion and exchange between the Government and business community not only in the process of negotiation but also in the period of implementation of international trade commitments.

At the event, the Committee on International Trade Policies introduces 30 members who are representatives of business associations in important economic sectors and specialists from competent authorities in charge of making policy and negotiating international commitments. The first aim of the Committee is create an effective channel where the voice and interests of business community are made known and taken into account harmoniously in  the process of making policy, negotiating and implementing international commitments; then persuading the Government to establish an official consultation mechanism between State agencies and business community in this issue (similar to the current mechanism in building domestic law).

The Portal on WTO and Economic Integration www.trungtamwto.vn (Vietnamese version) and www.wtocenter.vn (English version) was also introduced in this event as (i) a focal point for information not only on WTO but also on other integration forms (multilateral,  bilateral); (ii) a forum for open discussion on all international trade  policies and (iii) a channel of online consultation in which enterprises, business associations can get appropriate and timely consultations from specialist in international trade policies. This portal is set up specially for enterprises and business associations as all information in this portal are collected, processed, summarized and explained in manner that meet demand and level of understanding of all enterprises but is not “raw information”.  Information collecting, analyzing, processing and online consultation at the Portal on WTO and Economic Integration are undertaken by the WTO Center of VCCI.

Hoping that the establishment and maintenance of the Committee on International Trade Policies and the Portal on WTO and Economic Integration in the framework of the Program “Enterprises and International Trade Policies” of VCCI will make progress in efforts of improving the relationship between the Government and business community, from that increasing the effect and quality of the integration process.

Contact

Dr Nguyen Thi Thu Trang

Secretary of the Committee on International Trade Policies

Ms Phung Thi Lan Phuong

Program Coordinator 

Tel: 0084-4-35771458

Fax: 0084-4-35771459

Email: banthuky@trungtamwto.vn; trangnt@vcci.com.vn; phuongptl@vcci.com.vn 

Website: www.trungtamwto.vn