Qatar files WTO complaint over Gulf trade ‘siege’

He reiterated the target of building a facilitating government which accompanies businesses and protects all legitimate rights and interests of investors, in accordance with principles of the World Trade Organization, bilateral agreements and the government’s commitments. The PM suggested focusing on the fields of global demand, such as agriculture, food, consumer products, and tourism instead of just concentrating on serving domestic companies as suppliers or subcontractors with low added value. PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc starts the forum. Photo:  It is necessary to expand international cooperation in trade, technological transfer, production and sales of products to the overseas markets, he recommended. The government pledges to create a transparent, safe and friendly business environment as well as create all favorable conditions for businesses, especially private and small- and medium-sized ones and startups to develop, he affirmed. He asked ministries and relevant departments to hold periodical dialogues with businesses to promptly remove their bottlenecks. The PM directed localities to prepare all necessary conditions such as land and particular policies to enable investors to do long-term business. He hoped private enterprises will embrace links and anticipate risks and difficulties to promote innovation and actively engage in international integration. The second Vietnam Private Sector Forum was organized by the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs' Association and the Mekong Business Initiative. A survey launched before the forum opened indicates that 65 percent of businesses questioned expressed their hope for a government of action. The…... [read more]

At the 10th National Party Congress in 2006, the Party has once again reiterated the goal of building Vietnam into a strong nation with a wealthy people and an equal, democratic and civilized society.Experiencing difficulties and challenges caused by a long period of socio-economic crisis against the background of many ups and downs in the world economy as well as our subjective thinking and doings, Vietnam was still pursuing its noble goal with great confidence.Comparative advantages and opportunities are the two important factors in the country’s successful development.Furthermore, Vietnam’s successes on the path of building socialism and its renewal process, as well as its open policy with China, have encouraged many developing nations, particularly African and Latin American nations to surge ahead. Experiences accumulated over the past more than 20 years have helped our nation change considerably from quantity to quality in 2006. The economic growth rate of 8.2 percent, the second highest in the world, is the eloquent testimony. The 8.2 percent growth in the GDP has a special significance as the year 2006 was the first year in the five year plan 2006-2010. In 2006, Vietnam posted an export turnover of almost US$40 billion, accounting for 60 percent of the GDP – a two-fold increase against total economic growth. In 2006, foreign investment in the country stood at nearly US$10.2 billion. The poverty rate among poor households reduced to 19 percent from 22 percent in 2005, according to the new criteria, and some 1.6 million people were provided…... [read more]

In 2010, the export turnover of Vietnamese agricultural, forestry, and aquatic products hit a record high of US$19.5 billion. The export value of these products to Japan alone reached US$1.5 billion, up 18 percent. Taking advantage of the VJEPA Vo Thanh Ha from the Asia-Pacific Market Management under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said that Vietnamese farm produce will benefit the most from the VJEPA under which Japan commits to cut tariffs on products which make up nearly 84 percent of the total value of Vietnamese farm produce exports. As soon as the VJEPA took effect on October 1, 2009, Japan cut tariffs on 784 out of 2,020 tax lines on farm produce, or 36 percent of the total tax lines on farm produce, and 67.6 percent of Vietnam’s total export value to Japan. Fourteen products including seasoning, soybeans, ginger, bananas, durian, and rambutans, which account for 14 percent of Vietnamese farm produce exported to Japan, will see the tariff cuts over a period of 3-5 years. 72 other agricultural products will enjoy the tariff cuts within 7 years, and 214 products within 10 years. 64 out of 330 products, or 71 percent of seafood exports value to Japan, enjoyed tax cuts immediately after the agreement came into effect. Vietnamese shrimp exported to Japan now enjoy zero percent import tax. In 2010, shrimp exports saw the most significant increase with export turnover of US$581 million (up 27.6 percent against 2009), followed by cuttlefish with $114 million (up 23.3…... [read more]

>>Vietnam, Laos develop durable solidarity>>Strengthening Vietnam-Laos fraternal friendship Mr. Trong’s visit to Laos this time in his new role as General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam opened up new opportunities for the two countries to lift their ties of traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation to a new height. It was considered all the more important than his previous visits as he was the first foreign leader invited after the ninth National Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and seventh NA election were held. He was also the first invited foreign leader deliver a speech at the Lao NA which was live broadcast on radio and television. Immediately after landing at Vientiane and Savannakhet airports, the Vietnamese delegation received a warm welcome from huge crowds of Lao comrades and people waiting there. A Laotian on behalf of the well-wishers, said “it’s my great honour to welcome the Vietnamese Party and NA leader. I am confident that his visit it will help strengthen the cooperation between the two countries as expected by their peoples”. In addition to the pomp and circumstance of the formal events, Mr. Trong and his entourage were honoured by a Lao traditional ceremony to tie strings on their wrists, with best wishes for health, peace, special solidarity, and faithfulness between Vietnam and Laos. At meetings with Lao leaders or people, Party General Secretary Trong emphasized the firm resolve of both nations to develop the traditional and special Vietnam-Lao relationship in the new…... [read more]

The world public is hoping the meeting can find a way to restore the battered world economy. But tensions in some bilateral relations could be hindering the success of this conference. The IMF/WB annual conference and its sideline meetings are the biggest of the world’s financial, economic and banking leaders. Since the global economic crisis of 2008, the IMF has played a crucial role in addressing financial issues. In the context of a worsening world economy, the conference gives world financial leaders an opportunity to work out a way to restore the global economy, adjust policies of developing countries, and cope with the European public debt crisis, which has spread beyond the region and hurt newly emerging economies. Prior to the conference, China announced that its Finance Minister and Bank Governor would not attend the meetings but would send their deputies instead. This surprising decision reflects the currently strained relations between China and Japan, which are now producing widening ripples. The China-Japan economic relationship is one of the key relationships in the world economic structure. Prior to the conference, IMF General Director Christine Lagarde called on the world’s second and third largest economies to focus on global issues rather than their territorial disputes. The IMF leader stressed that the global economy really needs both economies’ full participation. Neither country has shown any inclination toward cooperation. Meanwhile, just as the conference was opening, the US and China faced off in a trade dispute after Washington described two leading Chinese telecommunications groups…... [read more]

A security guard at the United Nations' European headquarters told Reuters that Swiss authorities were searching for four men believed to be in or near the city. Another guard said the U.N. compound was on maximum alert, and Geneva prosecutors said they were investigating the preparation of criminal acts. Separately, the Swiss attorney-general said it opened an a criminal inquiry on the basis of a "terrorist threat in Geneva" against unknown persons suspected of belonging to a criminal organisation and of violating the ban on al-Qaeda or Islamic State operating in the country. The Geneva daily Le Temps reported that a friend of Salah Abdeslam, the latter wanted in connection with the deadly Paris attacks on Nov. 13, was in a van spotted by Geneva police on December 8 after a tip from French authorities that the two men in the car were strongly suspected of ties to radical Islam. The van, which had Belgian plates, crossed the border into France, the paper said. Geneva officials could not confirm the report. A French police source said Swiss authorities had been in touch to ask for information, about some suspects, including photographs. Swiss federal police in the capital Berne said they had passed on information about people with possible links to terrorism, but were not connecting them to Islamist militant attacks in Paris last month in which 130 people were killed. Earlier, the newspaper Le Matin said a Belgian-registered car that drove through a police check prompted police to examine a…... [read more]

At the Foreign Ministry’s regular press briefing on March 21 Nghi said, “We have repeatedly affirmed that Vietnam does not dump frozen fish fillets or any other seafood products into the US market. We have also asked the DOC not to impose anti-dumping duties on Vietnam’s frozen fish fillets.” Issues related to bilateral trade ties should be scrutinized in a fair and objective manner in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the spirit of trade liberalization and the fine relations between the two countries for the mutual benefit of Vietnamese and US businesses and consumers, the official said. Under the DOC’s decision, Indonesia will replace Bangladesh for calculating anti-dumping duties on frozen fish fillets imported from Vietnam before making a final decision of the 8th administrative review. As a result, Vietnamese frozen fish fillets will have new tax rates imposed, which are many times higher than normal.... [read more]

The event was co-organised by the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD)and the National Agricultural Policy Centre. Participants said that 2013 marks five years since Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) and fulfilled its commitments with the opening of market and tax reductions on numerous products, such as processed farm produce and foodstuffs. At the same time,, agricultural exporters have had to face strict quality controls, new trade conditions, and fluctuations on the world market which have all had a strong impact on agricultural production. Dr Dang Kim Son, IPSARD Head said that apart from input factors and new policies, up-to-date market information plays an important role in helping agricultural enterprises operate successfully. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and relevant ministries should research and disseminate the latest market data to help people make informed decisions. The seminar offered an opportunity for those who are responsible for agricultural and rural development to have access to policy researchers, scientists and agricultural businesses.... [read more]

The PMI reported that with its imports estimated at US$132.5 billion, Vietnam has a trade deficit of around US$0.5 billion, accounting for 0.38% of its export turnover, but much lower than the set target by the Government and the National Assembly. Last month’s trade surplus of US$50 million showed Vietnam’s 11-month imports fell to US$96 million. The State-owned sector’s trade deficit stayed at US$12.3 billion, while the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector had an export surplus of US$12.2 billion, including US$5.6 billion from crude oil. Key export items were agro-forestry and aquacultural products, telephones, fuels, fertilizers, and garment and textile products. The remarkable achievements in the export sector were attributed to Vietnam’s recent progress in free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations and its active participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in the framework of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The country is concluding bilateral FTA negotiations with members of the European Union (EU), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the Customs Union, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Republic of Korea (RoK).... [read more]

Leading economists and government officials have said if Vietnam elects to join the TPP, the value of its agricultural exports could explode and potentially double over the next few years. The proposed TPP agreement, whose provisions are only now starting to surface, encompasses twelve countries, namely: Vietnam, the US, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore (TPP12). The combined goods and services trade of the TPP 12 parties is approximately US$27.5 trillion, comprising 40% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) and one-third of world trade. This broad coverage trade seems to support the assertions that Vietnam’s agriculture stands to benefit tremendously, especially in light of the fact that Vietnam is currently one of the largest exporters of farm produce to the US. Most of the TPP negotiations have been undertaken by those at the bargaining table based on the principle that all tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers on agricultural products be totally eliminated. Vietnam’s current strengths in exports to the US market lie in coffee, cashew nuts, pepper, rice, and tea and the lapse of tariffs would contribute to making agriculture more profitable and generate funds for investment into improved technology. Vietnam’s East Asian neighbour, Japan, is also one of the TPP12 and the country’s third largest customer – with major purchases including coffee along with a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. In addition, Australia and Mexico are two other TPP12 big consumers of Vietnam’s high quality agricultural products. However, whenever there…... [read more]

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