UNCTAD`s Work Programme on International Investment Agreements (IAA) actively supports policy makers, government officials and other IIA stakeholders in the IIA reform to make them more conducive to sustainable development and inclusive growth. International investment rules are established at bilateral, regional, inter-regional and multilateral levels. It requires policy makers, negotiators, civil society and other stakeholders to be well informed about foreign direct investment, international investment agreements (AI) and their effects on sustainable development. Key objectives of UNCTAD`s IIA work programme – Reform of the International Investment Agreements (IIA) regime to improve the dimension of sustainable development; A comprehensive analysis of key issues arising from the complexity of the international investment regime; Development of a wide range of instruments to support the development of a more balanced international investment policy. Vietnam and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Vietnam applied for WTO membership in 1995. Many observers believe that Vietnam is still far from meeting the wto membership requirements. In March 2001, Vietnam`s Trade Minister said his government`s goal of joining the WTO by 2004. Countries wishing to join the WTO must negotiate bilateral agreements with current WTO members. The provisions of these agreements will then be incorporated into the membership protocol of the member state and will apply to all WTO members under the WTO obligation. In other words, all concessions granted to a country under a bilateral accession agreement would be used by all WTO members.
As a general rule, bilateral accession negotiations focus on tariff concessions and other market access issues that will govern bilateral trade relations after the applicant`s accession. Thus, Vietnam and the United States are likely to conduct a new round of negotiations on changes to its trade regime in Vietnam at a later date before the United States supports Vietnam`s application for WTO membership. After the conclusion of this agreement, it is likely that the President of the United States will ask Congress to extend the permanent treatment of MFN to Vietnam, as President Clinton did after the conclusion of WTO accession negotiations with China in November 1999. (10) U.S. interests in a bilateral BTA. Trade and investment flows between the United States and Vietnam are extremely low. Although Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world, with nearly 80 million people, annual U.S. exports have shifted in recent years between $200 million and $400 million (see Table 2 below), a figure that, in about three days, exported to Japan and about one-fifth of the amount exported by the United States to South Vietnam in 1970.