Vietnam’s Accession to the WTO: Lessons from Past Trade Agreements
This paper examines Vietnam’s experience with bilateral trade agreements and compares subsequent outcomes with predictions from existing computable general equilibrium (CGE) models. Those model based assessments have greatly underestimated the impact of past agreements. Tariff reform is not the main factor driving economic adjustments, and market imperfections mean there is potential for greater output and trade expansion. The key questions to ask in future research are what critical new institutional reforms WTO accession will bring, and what incentives will be put in place to determine the evolution of investment by sector.
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