Nation could make more use of WTO benefits: NA report
HA NOI — Full use has not been made of the benefits from Viet Nam’s World Trade Organisation commitments, a new National Assembly External Affairs Committee survey shows.
The failure was despite the visible positive impact of the commitments.
The results of the two-month-long survey of 20 cities and provinces as well as industries and ministries were published in Ha Noi yesterday.
They show that the WTO commitments have contributed significantly to the attraction of domestic and foreign investment; trade revenue and a shift in economic structure in localities where they have been properly implemented.
The survey also found that WTO commitments have boosted administrative reform with the introduction of simpler and more transparent procedures,
But numerous improvements from the building of action plans to the publicising of activities; document checking and mechanisms for reform are still required.
Personnel training has proved confused, inactive and unreliable.
External Affairs Committee chairman and survey overseer Ngo Duc Manh attributed the failure to benefit from the commitments to a lack of comprehensive and close co-operation between the State and enterprises; between central and local authorities; localities in the economic regions and among local agencies.
Authorities at all-levels were confused about identifying and choosing the best measures to exploit and promote the benefits of the WTO commitments, he said.
They had not been able to put socio-economic development programmes and projects into the context of WTO integration so as to properly identify the opportunities and challenges.
Senior economists Pham Chi Lan and Tran Dinh Thien agreed that Viet Nam lacked a broad vision for regional co-operation and a specific action programme in which the State’s co-ordination and strong co-operation among ministries, industries and localities would be crucial.
It was time to encourage a broader economic space so as not to pursue scattered and small-scale businesses, they argued.
They reiterated that the bottlenecks in economic development were poor infrastructure and the lack of skilled personnel.
The bottlenecks posed not a few challenges to the implementation of the WTO commitments.
The duo advised that publicity to raise awareness about Viet Nam’s WTO commitments should suit each industry and locality with local officials the key to the process.
The External Affairs Committee has now proposed that the National Assembly and its committees quicken improvement in the quality of their legislative work and perfect the laws to better meet WTO requirements and regulations.
The committee also wants more research into the impact WTO entry will have on the most vulnerable such as residents of rural Viet Nam, including farmers, so that appropriate remedial policies can be introduced.
The Viet Nam Support for Trade Acceleration, or STAR, project provided technical support for the survey. — VNS