Vietnam should undertake stronger economic restructuring measures, targeting a more comprehensive and transparent effort, and allowing for more effective allocation of resources, radio The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) quoted Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh as saying.

In terms of multilateral relations, Vietnam has become an official member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since 2007 after more than 11 years of negotiations.

In the region, Vietnam became a full member of ASEAN and then the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in the 1990s. Together with ASEAN, Vietnam has participated in free trade agreements between ASEAN and China, India, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

On bilateral relations, Vietnam has signed a series of important agreements, including a bilateral trade agreement with the US and an economic partnership agreement with Japan, and actively negotiated other FTAs with the EU and the Customs Union.

International economic integration milestones have helped raise Vietnam’s regional and international status. Economic integration at different levels demonstrates Vietnam’s great efforts in grasping new opportunities, however, it poses huge challenges to the country.

Simultaneously opening trade door for many partners will create high pressure on competition and urgent needs for legal system reform and commitment enforcement.

The FTA with the EU and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) are new multilateral agreements with higher liberalisation. When joining these agreements, Vietnam needs to give stronger commitments to traditional fields - goods and services and non-traditional fields like labour, the environment, and e-commerce.

Deputy Minister Khanh said to successfully integrate into the global economy, Vietnam should boost substantial integration, aiming to restructure the economy and reallocate resources in a more effective and transparent manner.

Former Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen argued that international economic integration should go along with domestic reform under which reform would create a premise for integration and vice versa integration would help boost domestic reform.

Economic reforms and integration should be considered as key tasks, Tuyen said, adding that reform should also expand to other social fields, especially in the political system because political reform would pave the way for better economic reform.

Sharing the same view, former WTO Director General Lamy said Vietnam should further raise its socio-economic status to integrate sustainably in the new period. In addition to macro reforms, the role of businesses must be heightened in the next phase of the economic integration, said Nguyen Thu Trang from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Under Prime Minister’s decision issued in 2012 on consultation regulation, agencies involving in international trade agreement negotiations have to directly collect proposals from the business community or through VCCI.

However, the business community’s proposals and contributions during international negotiations have been limited so far, Trang said.

Businesses’ participation in negotiations and the implementation of bilateral and multilateral agreements will be very productive to Government agencies in negotiations on important agreements in the near future, she noted.-VNA