On July 14, the delegation of the Ministry of Finance of Viet Nam led by Minister Ho Duc Phoc had a working session with the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) - Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Joining the delegation was Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai - Head of the Permanent Delegation of Viet Nam to the United Nations, WTO and other international organizations in Geneva.
Under the theme of green growth and sustainable development, the Minister and the Delegation had a working session with the World Trade Organization (WTO). Receiving the Minister and Delegation, WTO Director-General, Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala welcomed and thanked the Minister and Delegation for spending time to visit the WTO headquarte. She also highly appreciated Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai-Head of the permanent delegation of Viet Nam to the United Nations, WTO and other international organizations in Geneva in connection the cooperation between the WTO and Viet Nam over the years.
Assessing the achievements that Viet Nam has achieved for more than 15 years of joining the WTO, the WTO Director-General expressed her deep impression and praised Viet Nam's efforts and results in development experience, especially in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic. According to Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Viet Nam's excellent anti-epidemic achievements have confirmed its effective response policy and proactive vaccination strategy. With the economic growth results that Viet Nam has achieved, it proves the right choice and direction of Viet Nam in economic development.
The WTO Director-General shared the same opinion with Minister Ho Duc Phoc in assessing the trend of shifting production and investment from other countries to Viet Nam, which is an opportunity for jobs, improving human qualifications to meet production requirements, which requires Viet Nam to develop and apply technology.
The WTO Director General proposed Viet Nam to soonly approve the WTO Agreement on the elimination of fisheries subsidies for the Agreement to quickly take effect. In addition, Viet Nam actively participates in the Green Growth and Sustainable Development Group of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference to assist the WTO in achieving these goals and also to help Viet Nam achieve these goals as well as strategic policy on green growth and sustainable development.
Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that the WTO is implementing digital trade and with Viet Nam's existing capacity, the WTO wishes Viet Nam to actively participate and contribute to this content. Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called on Viet Nam to agree with the initiative on exempt intellectual property rights for COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines to ensure more equitable access for poor countries, as an anti-epidemic tool to help the world quickly get rid of the pandemic.
The WTO Director-General also asked the Minister to convey to the Prime Minister and President of Viet Nam her positive comments and good impressions on Viet Bam's achievements in fighting the pandemic and economic development in the past time.
Expressing his gratitude for the welcome of the WTO Director General as well as the support of the WTO to Viet Nam, Minister Ho Duc Phoc said that Viet Nam attaches great importance to cooperation with the WTO and always actively and seriously implementing commitments in trade agreements that incorporate factors related to the environment and climate change. Accordingly, Viet Nam has been well implementing green growth and sustainable development activities on the basis of approved policies of the Government. The Minister emphasized that “we are deeply aware of the fact that commercial development makes a great contribution to the development of the country. However, development goals need to be linked to a green strategy to protect the environment and combat climate change because Viet Nam has begun to witness the negative effects of climate change”. Along with that, new energy conversion targets such as electric power, wind energy, solar energy, etc. have been implemented based on the available natural potentials of Viet Nam. Regarding the content of digital transformation as mentioned by the WTO Director General, the Minister said this is an inevitable trend of the world and that Viet Nam has made many efforts to initially successfully implement trade digitization in the areas of customs, taxation, treasury and finance.
Regarding the recommendations of the WTO Director-General, the Minister said that the Delegation acknowledged the WTO's proposals and will report to the Government on these contents, and affirmed that Viet Nam always supports strong cooperation and efforts together with WTO members to join hands to respond to the challenges facing the global economy.
At the end of the meeting, the Minister expressed his gratitude to the WTO Director General and the WTO for their practical and effective support to Viet Nam and cordially invited her to visit and work with the Ministry of Finance of Viet Nam on a favorable occasion.
On the same day, the Delegation had a Dialogue with Trade Data Monitor and some investors in Geneva. The Minister and the Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai chaired the Dialogue. The dialogue is an opportunity for investors to find out information and exchange with the Delegation on potential investment activities in Viet Nam market.
At the Dialogue, Minister Ho Duc Phuc also informed investors about Vietnam's development situation in recent years. The Minister said that Vietnam has a very open economy, so it is very vulnerable to external impacts such as the global pandemic of covid-19, the challenges of climate change. However, over the years, thanks to the right policies and strategies of the Party, State and Government, Vietnam's economic growth still achieved good results and Vietnam overcame the covid-19 pandemic to re-establishing the market for import and export activities and investment. The Minister affirmed that "the Vietnamese government always creates favorable conditions for foreign investors. With favorable policies for businesses to invest, the Minister said that Vietnam always welcomes investors to carry out investment activities in Viet Nam.
The dialogue focused on questions and answers related to financial investment, the stock market and currency of Vietnam and some contents on green investment and green growth.
The Minister said that Viet Nam is implementing a tax reduction schedule for businesses according to the commitments of FTAs that Viet Nam has joined. At the same time, Viet Nam always promotes multilateral cooperation such as ASEAN, ASEM, and APEC to create a level playing field for businesses, especially investment enterprises. With the aim of green and sustainable finance and striving to perfect infrastructure and information technology in investment and trade management, Viet Nam wishes investors who intend to cooperate with Viet Nam needs to boldly consider implementing investment projects with the hope that investment activities bring benefits and two-way values to both investment enterprises and Viet Nam.
As planned, the delegation of the Ministry of Finance keeps working in Bern, Switzerland with the Swiss Agency for Economic Cooperation and Development (SECO) and the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland on July 16, 2022.