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Vietnam's Trade Policy Dilemmas


  • David Vanzetti

    (Australian National University and Central Institute for Economic Management)

  • Pham Lan Huong


Vietnam faces alternative options in opening its economy to trade. It is about to join the World Trade Organization; as a member of the ASEAN Free Trade Area it is contemplating extending the regional trade area to include China, Korea and Japan; and it has recently concluded a bilateral agreement with the United States. Opening up to trade is a two-edged sword, with the beneficial effects of improved market access and resource allocation liable to be partially or totally offset by adverse terms of trade effects and significant, albeit one-off, cost of structural adjustment. Simulations of unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral liberalization reform and a tariff harmonization scenario are undertaken using a general equilibrium model, GTAP. Results indicate that significant welfare benefits could be obtained from unilateral liberalization without the need to negotiate with others. Harmonization of tariffs at the current average also shows to be beneficial in raising tariff revenues with little need for adjustment. The extension of AFTA brings moderate benefits, as does a multilateral reform which reduces applied tariffs by 50 per cent. There are only limited gains in the agricultural and resources sectors, as these major exports face low tariff barriers. However, the market for Vietnam's textiles and apparel is crucially important.

Suggested Citation

  • David Vanzetti & Pham Lan Huong, 2006. "Vietnam's Trade Policy Dilemmas," Trade Working Papers 22036, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:tradew:22036

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. Chatib Basri & Hal Hill, 2004. "Ideas, Interests and Oil Prices: The Political Economy of Trade Reform During Soeharto's Indonesia," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(5), pages 633-655, May.
    2. William James & David Ray & Peter Minor, 2003. "Indonesia'S Textiles And Apparel: The Challenges Ahead," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 93-103.
    3. Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan & Mari Pangestu, 2003. "Indonesian Trade Liberalisation: Estimating The Gains," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 51-74.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Abbott, Philip & Bentzen, Jeanet & Tarp, Finn, 2006. "Vietnam’s Accession to the WTO: Lessons from Past Trade Agreements," MPRA Paper 61679, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. To, Minh Thu & Lee, Hiro, 2014. "Assessing the impacts of deeper trade reform in Vietnam in a general equilibrium framework," MPRA Paper 82271, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:gei:journl:v:4:y:2017:i:1:p:27-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Houssein Boumellassa & Hugo Valin, 2009. "Vietnam's Accession to the WTO: Expost Evaluation in a Dynamic Perspective," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 118, pages 13-42.
    5. Abbott, Philip & Bentzen, Jeanet & Huong, Thi Lan & Tarp, Finn, 2007. "A Critical Review of Studies on the Social and Economic Impacts of Vietnam’s International Economic Integration," MPRA Paper 29789, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Vietnam; trade; WTO negotiations;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade


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