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Cablegate: Vietnam: Pm Directive On Advancing Wto Legislation

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HANOI 000817

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV AND EB/TPP/BTA/ANA
STATE PASS USTR FOR EBRYAN AND GHICKS
USDA FOR FAS
USDOC FOR 4430/MAC/ASIA/OPB/VLC/HPPHO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD VM WTRO VN WTO
SUBJECT: VIETNAM: PM DIRECTIVE ON ADVANCING WTO LEGISLATION

1. On April 4, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai issued a
Directive aimed at advancing the pace of Vietnam's
legislative calendar in support of WTO accession. The
Directive follows on and provides guidance for implementing
the legislative program the GVN presented to the National
Assembly (NA) on March 2. The Directive:

-- Tasks ministers and other heads of agencies with direct
responsibility for ensuring timely completion of WTO-related
draft legislation.

-- Instructs GVN drafting committees to focus primarily on
aspects of legislation that are important to the WTO process
and to cooperate with the NA Committee responsible for
reviewing the legislation.

-- Tasks the National Committee for International Economic
Cooperation (NCIEC), chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu
Khoan, with translating draft laws and ordinances and
sending them to the WTO for review.

-- Tasks the Ministry of Trade (in coordination with the
Ministry of Justice (MOJ)) with ensuring that all draft
legislation is consistent with WTO requirements.

-- Instructs ministries and other GVN agencies to draft all
necessary implementing regulations in parallel with draft
laws.

-- Instructs ministries not to issue documents containing
legal norms in the form of official letters (OL) and/or
notifications. (Note: This appears to be a direct response
to USG concerns about transparency. OLs are not classified
by the GVN as legal normative documents and so there is no
requirement to publish them. However, ministries frequently
put policy decisions in OLs. End Note.)

-- Tasks MOJ, in coordination with MOT, to determine what
additional legislation (not already included on the
legislative schedule) the GVN may also need to draft.

2. An Annex to the Directive lists 23 laws and ordinances to
be approved by the National Assembly in 2005.

3. An unofficial translation of the Directive has been
emailed to EAP/BCLTV and USTR.

4. Comment: This Directive addresses many of the concerns
that the we and other key WTO members have consistently
voiced to the GVN including the slow pace of the legislative
calendar, the need for greater coordination with the
National Assembly, and the lack of transparency of the
drafting process. Issuance of the Directive is a positive
indication that the GVN better understands the legislative
requirements for accession and is very focused on trying to
meet them. However, since the GVN has not yet begun to
submit draft legislation to the WTO Secretariat, it is
impossible to assess whether the legislation will meet WTO
requirements and enable Vietnam to attain its goal of
accession by the end of 2005. End Comment.

MARINE

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