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Cablegate: National Assembly Ratifies Wto Protocol Ratification And

VZCZCXRO4932
RR RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #3014/01 3481026
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141026Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4124
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 2237
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 5309
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1151

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 003014

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MLS
STATE PASS USTR FOR DAVID BISBEE, RACHEL BAE
COMMERCE FOR OASIA HONG PHONG PHO
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK FOR USPTO JENNIFER NESS
GENEVA FOR USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD WTRO ECON ECPS VM
SUBJECT: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY RATIFIES WTO PROTOCOL RATIFICATION AND
AMENDS DOMESTIC LAWS

(U) THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET
DISTRIBUTION.

REF: HANOI 3012 (NOTAL)

1. (SBU) Summary: On November 28, Vietnam's National Assembly (NA)
voted 444-3 for a Resolution that ratifies Vietnam's World Trade
Organization (WTO) Accession Protocol. Vietnam formally deposited
its ratification in Geneva on December 12 and will become the WTO's
150th member on January 11, 2007. Vietnam's WTO commitments made
"sufficiently clear" by the WTO accession documents shall take
direct effect without the need for further implementing legislation.
The NA tasked the government to submit for NA approval or
independently enact additional regulations and implementing
documents -- and revise existing ones -- in order to bring Vietnam's
legal system into full compliance with its WTO commitments. In
cases where Vietnam's laws are inconsistent with its WTO
commitments, the latter shall prevail. An annex of the Resolution
amends six laws by with specific WTO Commitments--Enterprises;
Lawyers; Insurance Businesses; Promulgation of Legal Documents; and,
Intellectual Property and Cinematography. End Summary.

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2. (U) On November 28, Vietnam's National Assembly (NA) passed
Resolution 71/2006/QH11, ratifying Vietnam's WTO Accession Protocol
(reftel). The vote was 444-3, with two abstentions. Following the
approval by State President Nguyen Minh Triet and Prime Minister
Nguyen Tan Dzung, the Ministry of Trade informed us that Vietnam
formally deposited its WTO ratification in Geneva on December 12,
meaning that Vietnam will officially become the 150th WTO member 30
days later on January 11, 2007.

3. (U) In addition to ratifying Vietnam's WTO Protocol, the NA
Resolution states that "sufficiently clear" WTO commitments (as
detailed in the Protocol, the Protocol annexes and Vietnam's
Accession Report) will take effect without the need for further
legislation or implementing documents. That said, the NA recognized
that further revisions or the drafting of additional legal documents
(i.e., decisions, decrees or circulars issued by the GVN or various
ministries) will be necessary. The NA Resolution thus also tasks
the GVN, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's
Procuracy (the prosecutor's office) to review for submission to the
NA, or to draft independently (as determined by Vietnamese legal
custom), other legal documents that require amendment, supplement or
new issuance in order to be consistent with Vietnam's WTO
commitments. Furthermore, the Resolution clarifies that in cases
where Vietnam's laws are not consistent with its WTO commitments,
the WTO commitments shall prevail.

4. (U) The Resolution includes an annex directly applying WTO
commitments made by Vietnam to supersede articles and clauses in six
Vietnamese Laws. A summary of the changes identified in the annex
are:

-- LAW ON ENTERPRISES - The Resolution directly applies commitments
made by Vietnam on the rights of limited liability companies and
joint stock companies to stipulate organizational matters such as
the structure and rights of shareholders' meetings in their
charters.

-- LAW ON LAWYERS - The NA's WTO Resolution identifies a number of
commitments made on legal services in the Table on Commitments in
Trade and Services, which shall prevail over Articles in the 2006
Law on Lawyers. The Annex contents also define the various forms of
law firms and outline the rights and benefits extended to foreign
lawyers and foreign legal practices operating in Vietnam.

-- LAW ON INSURANCE BUSINESS - The Annex applies Vietnam's
Commitments on Trade in Services with regard to reinsurance of
liabilities, superseding existing requirements in the 2000 Law on
Insurance Businesses.

-- LAW ON PROMULGATION OF LEGAL NORMATIVE DOCUMENTS - The WTO
Resolution applies Vietnam's WTO commitments to increase
transparency in the drafting of legal normative documents. The new
contents clearly identify publishing requirements and stipulate the
relationship between the time of publishing and the time a legal
document takes effect.

-- LAW ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - Using language from Vietnam's
Accession Report, the Annex outlines the obligations of broadcasting
agencies to pay royalties and appropriate fees when using published
works and recorded materials.

HANOI 00003014 002 OF 002

-- LAW ON CINEMATOGRAPHY - Referring to Vietnam's commitments on
removal of quantitative limits in its Access Report, the Annex lifts
the quantitative limits on the number of films that can be imported.


5. (U) Post has sent the full text of the NA resolution and Annex to
USTR and to the desk.

6. (SBU) Comment: The revisions made in the Annex of the NA's WTO
Resolution are intended to address fully any inconsistent provisions
contained in laws that the National Assembly has promulgated in the
past. Still, the GVN continues to review its regulations and
implementing documents to identify the changes that will be needed
to make Vietnam's legal system fully consistent with its WTO
commitments. According to a contact at the Ministry of Justice
(MOJ), although no deadline is given in the Resolution, it is widely
understood that this review should be completed by the time Vietnam
formally accedes to the WTO. There is an ongoing discussion about
the best mechanism to enact the necessary changes. Many lawmakers
and the MOJ are in favor of issuing a single omnibus law addressing
all of the required revisions. End Comment.

MARINE

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