Center for WTO & International Trade (WITC)

Activity Summary Report in 2019 – WTO and Internation Trade Center – VCCI

21/02/2020    162

In 2019, to provide legal support for Vietnamese businesses in the process of international trade integration, the WTO and International Trade Center continued to carry out activities on the following five major areas: 

1. Supporting businesses and advocating trade integration policies

The Center is a representative and an information hub guiding the businesses in international trade issues, especially free trade agreements under the Prime Minister's Decision 06/2012/QD-TTg. In 2019, VCCI continued to be the biggest hub where businesses could find information and advice on the WTO and free trade agreements that Vietnam is engaging. Notable activities included: 

  • Implementing 46 policy recommendations and comments on trade integration issues, notably:
    • Recommendations to the Government on negotiation strategies on Vietnam – Israel FTA, RCEP, Vietnam - Qatar customs cooperation, etc.;
    • Recommendations to the Government in the context of US-China trade war;
    • Recommendations to the Government on market opening for services under the CPTPP;
    • Recommendation to the Government on the implementation plan of VPA / FLEGT relating to public procurement of timber products and Vietnam's timber legality assurance system (VNTLAS);
    • Comments on Decrees on the implementation of the CPTPP (Preferential import and export tariffs, Public procurement, Intellectual property, Insurance auxiliary ...)
    • Comments on negotiation strategies and priority topics in ASEAN and WTO, etc.
  • Carrying out 04 pieces of research on the implementation of international commitments, notably:
    • "CPTPP and the ability to increase import, export and investment to Australia";
    • “Legality of timber products in public procurement in Vietnam: Reality and Challenges in implementing VPA / FLEGT".
  • Compiling and publishing 23 publications (reports, newsletters, handbooks), including:
    • Handbook: Useful information about Vietnam’s FTAs;
    • 03 Handbooks on EVFTA’s commitments in 03 sectors (finance, telecommunications, logistics);
    • 10 Handbooks on CPTPP’s commitments in 10 sectors ( textiles, footwear, timber, beverages, Seafood, Fruit and Vegetable, and Meat Production and Processing, logistics, telecommunications, distribution-e-commerce;
    • Quarter Newsletters on Enterprises and Trade Liberalization.
  • Organizing / presenting at 26 seminars and conferences on trade integration issues, especially relating to CPTPP and other new-generation FTAs, including:
    • Seminar series "Commitments  in the EVFTA and their impact on Telecommunication, Logistics and Finance Sectors";
    • Seminar series "Commitments in the CPTPP and their impact on important industries/agriculture/services";
    • Seminar series regarding the integration in FTAs, CPTPP, EVFTA in general/ by industries in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Dien Bien, etc.
  • Discussing and presenting VCCI's perspective in 27 meetings and conferences on trade integration issues, including:
    • Meetings on the appraisal of drafts of legislative documents implementing the CPTPP commitments;
    • Meetings on the implementation of WTO commitments in the field of pharmaceutical distribution;
    • Meetings on the appraisal of ministries’ projects relating to international trade (Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Science and Technology, etc.).

2. Assisting businesses in issues relating to trade remedies and other international trade barriers

The Center provides businesses with legal supports relating to trade integration, especially the use of anti-dumping, subsidy and safeguard measures and other trade protection measures in Vietnam and in the world.

In 2019, VCCI continued to be the biggest hub of information and advice for businesses on trade remedies in Vietnam. In particular, VCCI provided Vietnamese associations and businesses with support and information relating to 04 cases, including:

  • 03 domestic trade remedies investigations (anti-dumping investigations of Aluminum ( alloy or non-alloy bars, rods and shapes) imported from China; anti-dumping investigations of Medium-density fibreboard (MDF ) originating from Thailand and Malaysia; implementing anti-dumping duties on Galvanized Steel from China and Hong Kong)
  • 01 foreign trade barrier ( India restricts the import of Vietnamese incense)

3. Providing information, training, advice and other support on trade integration

Through activities on mass media, direct consultations with businesses and 03 web portals (on WTO-FTA integration, trade remedies and AEC), VCCI is currently an intensive and reputable hub of information and advice on trade integration.

  • 03 web portals of the Center are the biggest hubs to provide associations and businesses with legal information in Vietnam, namely: 
  • The portal on trade agreements and policies with 02 versions: (Vietnamese)/ (English); 
  • The portal on trade remedies with 02 versions: (Vietnamese) (English);
  • The portal on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) with 02 versions: (Vietnamese) (English)

In 2019, 06 mentioned versions of 03 web portals had an average of 10 new posts per day and over 2,265,000 visits. In total, since the establishment, there have been over 65 million visits to these portals. 

  • Attending dozens of talk shows, interviews and writing dozens of articles on the mass media about trade integration, including:
    • VTV1 talk shows, Vnexpress, the web portal of Government ...
    • The interviews with Business Forum Magazine, Vietnam Investment Newspaper (Báo Đầu Tư), Finance Newspaper (Báo Chứng Khoán), Customs Newspaper (Báo Hải Quan), Tuoitrenews, Forbes Vietnam, VnEconomy, SGGP News ...
    • Articles on the Saigon Times
  • Conducting hundreds of consultations with businesses via phone, email ...

4. Implementing Programs and Projects

In 2019, The Center conducted 06 major programs:

  • 02 programs financed by the State budget, including:
    • The program to carry out the tasks assigned in Decision 06/2012/QD-TTg on enhancing the participation of enterprises in the trade opening negotiations; 
    • The program to support Vietnamese businesses to deal with trade barriers in key markets in the context of increasing trade protectionism.
  • 04 programs financed by other sources: 
    • Research on policies and practices of public procurement of timber products in Viet Nam – VCCI and Forest Trends cooperation; 
    • Research on the impact of the EVFTA on important service industries in Vietnam - VCCI and FNF cooperation
    • “Opportunities for trade export and investment in Australia through CPTPP and other FTAs" - VCCI and Aus4Skill cooperation 
    • “Assisting businesses to benefit from CPTPP effectively” - VCCI – Aus4Reform Cooperation 

5. Consulting and providing professional support on legal issues in trade integration for the VCCI’s Standing Committee and affiliates

The WTO and International Trade Center have consulted the Standing Committee, Departments, Branches, and Representative Offices of VCCI on all matters relating to negotiation and implementation of commitments in WTO, FTAs and other international trade treaties.