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By Philippe Legrain 2 COMMENTS

The WTO’s 149 members have just agreed to admit lucky number 150: Vietnam.

It is a cheering end to a dismal year for the World Trade Organisation.
With the Doha Round dead in the water and America and Europe scambling
to sign bilateral trade deals with all and sundry, not least Asia’s
tiger economies, it is a healthy sign that the WTO still has some life
in it.

Critics moan that Vietnam has been forced to open up its economy
wholesale in order to join the world-trade club, but their arguments
are wide of the mark. Nobody forced Vietnam to do anything: it chose to
join the WTO; and by agreeing to open its economy further in order to
do so, it will reap huge benefits. Next up: Ukraine.

Posted 07 Nov 2006 in Blog, Trade
  1. Matthew says:

    “Nobody forced Vietnam to do anything: it chose to join the WTO”
    I’m not sure this works – Vietnam is not a democracy, and as such I think (more than with more democratic countries) you can only say “Nobody forced Vietnam’s government to do anything”, no-one asked the public one assumes.

  2. Philippe Legrain says:

    Fair point, Matthew. Thanks

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