DG Okonjo-Iweala praises Viet Nam for using trade to drive growth and reduce poverty
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Viet Nam is an example of how global trade can be used to drive economic development and expand opportunities for people, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stated in an address to the Foreign Trade University in Hanoi on 18 May. The Director-General also encouraged the Vietnamese government to ratify the WTO’s Fisheries Subsidies Agreement as soon as possible to accelerate its entry into force and to support ocean sustainability. During her visit to Hanoi, she also met with Viet Nam’s Prime Minister, Minh Chinh, and other senior officials.
Acceding to the WTO in 2007 has helped Viet Nam promote trade growth and improve living standards, DG Okonjo-Iweala noted, highlighting that merchandise trade has grown from USD 111.3 billion in 2007 to USD 730.2 billion in 2022.
Stressing that tapping into external demand has helped Viet Nam reduce poverty levels, she said the share of the Vietnamese population living below USD 2.15 per day was reduced from 45.1 per cent in 1992 to 1.23 per cent in 2018. DG Okonjo-Iweala also praised Viet Nam for its integration into global value chains and for attracting foreign direct investment. This has resulted in a boost in its production and export capacities, she added.
The active participation of the Foreign Trade University in the WTO Chairs Programme “makes a practical difference for Viet Nam's engagement in trade policy fora and in international markets,” DG Okonjo-Iweala underscored.
The DG called on Viet Nam to build upon the “very constructive role” it played in securing outcomes at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in June 2022, urging the Vietnamese government to ratify the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Agreement as soon as possible. Viet Nam has one of the world's largest fisheries sectors, she said.
DG Okonjo-Iweala met with the University President, Dr Bui Anh Tuan, and Professor Trinh Thi Thu Huong, Vice-Dean of the School of Economics and International Business.
In Hanoi, she also met with Viet Nam's Prime Minister, Minh Chinh, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Nguyễn Hồng Diên, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Le Minh Hoan, the Foreign Minister, Bui Thanh Son, and the Deputy Minister of Finance, Vu Thanh Hung. DG Okonjo-Iweala also visited the Vietnamese Association of Women Entrepreneurs, WeLead, and the SheTrades Hub.
More information on Viet Nam's WTO membership can be found here.