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Vietnam’s Plurilateral Commitments to the WTO

ドキュメント内 THE IMPACT OF WTO ACCESSION: CASE STUDY OF VIETNAM (ページ 53-56)

CHAPTER 2 VIETNAM’S ACCESSION PROCESS TO THE WTO AND THE

2.4. VIETNAM’S MAIN COMMITMENTS TO THE WTO MEMBERS

2.4.1. Vietnam’s Plurilateral Commitments to the WTO

According to the results of negotiations, Vietnam agreed to abide by all major agreements and rules of the WTO from the date of accession. These include: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs); Agreement on Agriculture (AoA); Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC); Agreement of WTO on Antidumping; Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM); Agreement on Safeguard Measures (SG); Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures; Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS); Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT);

Customs Valuation Agreement (CVC); Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI); Rules of Origin (ROO);

Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) etc.47The following provides some more details:

Monetary - finance policies, forex and payment Vietnam will abide by the IMF and WTO rules.48 Pricing and price controls

Vietnam will comply with WTO agreements and notify the WTO of actions it takes to control prices.49

Policy-making and enforcing framework

Firstly, in the process of ratifying the Protocol of Accession, Vietnam will determine the modalities in implementing the commitments (direct application or internal codifying) and claims priority in the application of the terms of international commitments. Secondly, the WTO rules are applied to the whole country. Laws and provisions under the laws and other measures including the provisions and measures of local provinces have to abide by WTO rules. Thirdly, the judicial authorities will hold an independent/impartial and objective status when making judgments in areas under adjustments by the WTO.50

Trading rights (the rights to import and export)

47Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 6.

48Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 6.

49Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 7.

50Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 7.

This was a subject of tough negotiations partly because of different registration procedures for foreign and domestic traders. Among the many additional details is a commitment that all foreign firms and individuals will be able to engage in importing and exporting as importers or exporters so long as they register. Vietnam still maintains import-export controls on some products in their list of state commerce (e.g., gasoline, cigarettes, cigars, video tapes, newspapers, wood products and minerals) and several other sensitive items that will be allowed only after a transitional period (e.g., rice, pharmaceuticals, etc.) to prevent illegal exploitation. Foreign individuals and firms without representative offices51in Vietnam have the rights to register the rights to import-export under international rules. Import-export right allows the person making a customs declaration under his name for import and export procedures, and not including the domestic distribution rights. In all cases, foreign companies and individuals will not be automatically involved in domestic distribution systems.52

Import tariffs and other tariffs and charges

Vietnam will apply the import tariffs conforming to the non-discrimination principle (treating other partners equally) except for the cases allowed by the WTO. If an increase of import tariffs happens, Vietnam will comply with the WTO rules. Vietnam will not maintain the other tariffs and surcharges applied separately for imported goods (in fact, those surcharges were removed).53

Fees and charges for public services

Vietnam will apply them as required by WTO rules. The fees and charges will be based on the true value of public services.54

Tariff quotas (or tariff rate quotas)

Vietnam is committed to applying, allocating and managing tariff quotas in a transparent manner and without discrimination.55Only a handful of products are being protected with tariff quotas (higher duties for quantities exceeding the quotas and lower duties for quantities within the quotas): eggs, tobacco, sugar, and salt (in which Vietnam says is the main income source for 100,000 poor farmers in coastal areas). But Vietnam will expand the quotas until they disappear

51Representative office is a subordinate unit of foreign enterprises, established under the Vietnamese law in order to seek, promote trade and tourism opportunities but is not allowed to engage in any direct profit-making activities (WT/ACC/VNM/48/Add.2).

52Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 7.

53Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, pp. 7-8.

54Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 8.

55Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 8.

according to agreed timetables. The tariffs within quotas are the same with MFN tariffs (eggs:

40%, raw sugar: 25%, pure sugar: 40-50%, tobacco: 30%, and salt: 30%).56 Internal tariffs and excise duties

Vietnam has agreed to simplify the structure within three years by applying a single rate for all kinds of beers and a single rate for all spirits containing 20% of alcohol or more (this has allayed concerns from some countries where the previous structure might discriminate against imported beers that have different packaging, or against imported spirits with higher alcohol content).57

Privatization and equitization of state-owned enterprises

This will be handled transparently, and Vietnam will supply annual reports on the progress of equitization as long as it maintains this program.58For state-owned enterprises (SOEs), state trading enterprises, commitments in this area mean that the Government will not intervene directly or indirectly in SOEs operations. However, the Government will maintain the right to interfere in businesses operations as other shareholders. Purchase of SOEs is not Government procurement. Commercial enterprises will be conducted on commercial terms without interference from the Government. A number of products are listed as subject to state trading enterprises because of consumption restrictions, such as for cultural and moral reasons, or because they are “natural monopolies”: tobacco products, petroleum, cultural products such as newspapers, journals and audio-visual materials, and aircraft. Vietnam agreed to remove the bans on imported cigarettes and cigars from the date of accession. But there will be only one state enterprise that has the right to import cigarettes and cigars.59

Transparency commitments

To make the policies more transparent, Vietnam will publish the draft of legal documents issued by the National Assembly, National Assembly Standing Committee and other Government documents to gather citizens’ comments. Time limits for comments and amendments to a minimum of 60 days. Vietnam has also committed to publishing the legal documents in journals and websites provided by authorities and ministries.

Vietnam also signed some “plurilateral” agreements (“plurilateral” meaning only some WTO members have signed). Under the terms of these agreements, and for related products,

56Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 11.

57Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 8.

58Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 7.

59Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2007. “Vietnam's commitments after joining the WTO”, Internal reference Document, p. 8.

Vietnam has agreed to allow imports in duty-free. In some cases, the zero duty will apply immediately; in others it will be achieved gradually over periods ending within the period 2010 and 2014. Table 2.3 below details these agreements.

Table 2.3: Vietnam’s Commitments on Some “Plurilateral” Agreements Plurilateral Agreements Tariff lines MFN tariffs

(%)

Final bound (%)

1. Information Technology Agreement (ITA) 330 (100%) 5.2 0

2. Chemical Harmonization Agreement (CH) 1,300/1600 (81%) 6.8 4.4 3. Civil Aircraft Equipments Agreement (CA) 89 (appropriate 100%) 4.2 2.6

4. Textiles Agreement (TXT) 1,170 (100%) 37.2 13.2

5. Medical Equipments Agreement (ME) 81 (100%) 2.6 0

Source: Ministry of Finance, 2006.

Table 2.3 above shows that Vietnam has fully joined in the three agreements. They are the ITA, TXT and ME. The agreements that Vietnam has partly joined are the CH and CA. The ITA is the most important agreement in which Vietnam undertakes to reduce its tariff rates to zero on a number of electronic and IT products over a period of four to seven years depending on each product. It means that the tariff rate of the product such as computers, mobile phones, cameras, digital cameras, etc. will be 0% in the maximum of 7 years.60The next item presents Vietnam’s major bilateral commitments to the WTO members.

ドキュメント内 THE IMPACT OF WTO ACCESSION: CASE STUDY OF VIETNAM (ページ 53-56)

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