Vietnam to become 150th WTO member

Hanoi, November 6:

Vietnam is set to become the 150th member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) tomorrow after 20 years of market reforms that have made the communist ruled country one of Asia’s fastest growing economies.

Hanoi hopes admission to the Geneva based club will further boost trade and investment for the Southeast Asian country of 84 million people whose emerging economy grew at over eight per cent last year, second in the region only to China.

“WTO membership will confer an international stamp of approval on Vietnam in the eyes of foreign investors and businessmen,” said Vietnam expert Dr Carl Thayer of the Australian Defence Force Academy.

“The trade environment will now be subject to international regulations that are understood outside Vietnam,” he said. “Vietnam will be seen as a safer destination for capital.” Vietnam will greet US president George W Bush and leaders of China, Japan, Russia and the members of APEC forum in Hanoi this month.