DDG Zhang underscores importance of implementing MC12 outcomes, other trade agreements

DDG Zhang at international workshop organised by the WCP Chair in Vietnam
DDG Zhang at international workshop organised by the WCP Chair in Vietnam

Friday, November 4, 2022

Speaking at a workshop on 4 November held at the Foreign Trade University (FTU) in Hanoi, a member of the WTO Chairs Programme, Deputy Director-General Xiangchen Zhang highlighted the importance of putting into practice WTO decisions and agreements, in particular those adopted at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) earlier this year.

"Trade agreements strengthen the diplomatic and economic ties between countries by ensuring that all parties benefit from the new deals. At the 12th Ministerial Conference in June, WTO members delivered a historical package of new outcomes. The implementation of these decisions is also now a priority to ensure that the benefits of these negotiations are experienced on the ground by all," DDG Zhang said.

He welcomed the strengthened cooperation between the FTU and the Permanent Mission of Viet Nam to the WTO, evidenced in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). "One of the key goals of this programme is to support the generation of policy-relevant and tailored information to members and I am confident that this cooperation will make a significant contribution towards that objective," he noted.

Dr. Bui Anh Tuan, President of the FTU, expressed the hope that the MoU will be the foundation for extensive cooperation and engagement among the business community, trade associations, academic institutions and government bodies, helping the country to meet its development goals.

MoU between FTU and Permanent Mission of Vietnam

Representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam elaborated on the importance of collaboration, noting it could help to ensure international trade rules are implemented for the benefit of companies. The government, universities and businesses each play a role in ensuring the effectiveness of implementation of international commitments, they added.

Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai of the Viet Nam Mission to the WTO said she is confident that the FTU, as a WTO Chair institution, will deliver the desired outcomes for all stakeholders, in particular through fostering knowledge and expertise. It would also support policy formulation to address trade challenges, strengthen implementation of trade commitments and promote inclusive trade and development.

Prof. Colin Picker, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Wollongong, Australia, stressed the importance of enhancing trade related capacity and capability. "The benefits [of doing so will] spill over to ensure improved and wider presence of the rule of law - increasing predictability, transparency and equality - and enhancing the ability of the country to project and protect its interests."

At the end of the event, Dr. Pham Thu Huong, Vice President of the FTU, said: "International commitments bring undeniable benefits as well as diverse and far-reaching challenges, especially in the context of Viet Nam's deep economic integration. Strategic cooperation that helps each entity involved utilise its strengths and overcome its limitations ensures that the benefits derived from joining international treaties on trade and investment will be reinforced and made inclusive and widespread."

A roundtable discussion subsequently focused on MC12 outcomes and work in the lead-up to the next Ministerial Conference.