IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Quantitative evaluation of Vietnam's accession to the ASEAN Free Trade Area


  • Fukase, Emiko
  • Martin, Will


Vietnam's accession into the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) has been an important step in its integration into the world economy. The authors use a multi-region, multi-sector computable general equilibrium model to evaluate how different trade liberalization policies of Vietnam and its main trading partners affect Vietnam's welfare, taking into account the simultaneous impacts on trade, output, and industrial structure. They conclude that: A) The static economywide effects of the AFTA liberalization to which Vietnam is currently committed are small. On the import side, the exclusion of a series of products from the AFTA commitments appears to limit the scope of trade creation, and the discriminatory nature of AFTA liberalization would divert Vietnam's trade from non-ASEAN members. B) Vietnam's small initial exports to ASEAN make the gains from improved access to partner markets relatively modest. Since Singapore dominates Vietnam's ASEAN exports and initial protection in Singapore is close to zero, there are few gains from preferred status in this market. C) When Vietnam extends its AFTA commitments to all of its trading partners on a most favored nation basis, its welfare increases substantially - partly because of the greater extent of liberalization partly because the broader liberalization undoes the costly trade diversion created by the initial discriminatory liberalization, and finally, because of the more efficient allocation of resources among Vietnam's industries. D) AFTA, APEC, and unilateral liberalizations affect Vietnam's industries in different ways. AFTA appears to benefit Vietnam's agriculture by improving its access to the ASEAN market. E) Broad unilateral liberalization beyond AFTA is likely to shift labor away from agriculture and certain import-competing activities toward relatively labor -intensive manufacturing. Reduced costs for intermediate inputs will benefit domestic production. These sectors conform to Vietnam's current comparative advantage, and undertaking broad unilateral liberalization now seems a promising way to facilitate the subsequent development of competitive firms in more capital- and skill- intensive sectors. By contrast, more intensive import competition may lead some import substitution industries (now dependent on protection) to contract. F)The higher level of welfare resulting from more comprehensive liberalization implies that the sector protection currently given to capital-intensive and strategic industries is imposing substantial implicit taxes on the rest of the economy. G) All of the above suggests that AFTA should be treated as an important initial step toward broader liberalization. Binding international commitments in AFTA and, in due course, at the World trade Organization can provide a credible signal of Vietnam's commitment to open trade policies that will help stimulate the upgrading of existing firms and investment in efficient and dynamic firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Fukase, Emiko & Martin, Will, 1999. "A Quantitative evaluation of Vietnam's accession to the ASEAN Free Trade Area," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2220, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2220

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin, Will J. & Warr, Peter G., 1994. "Determinants of agriculture's relative decline: Thailand," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 11(2-3), December.
    2. Puga, Diego & Venables, Anthony J., 1997. "Preferential trading arrangements and industrial location," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 347-368, November.
    3. Martin,Will & Winters,L. Alan (ed.), 1996. "The Uruguay Round and the Developing Countries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521586016.
    4. Puga, Diego & Venables, Anthony J, 1999. "Agglomeration and Economic Development: Import Substitution vs. Trade Liberalisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 292-311, April.
    5. W. E. G. Salter, 1959. "Internal And External Balance: The Role Op Price And Expenditure Effects," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 35(71), pages 226-238, August.
    6. Hertel, Thomas, 1997. "Global Trade Analysis: Modeling and applications," GTAP Books, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, number 7685.
    7. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    8. Huff, Karen & Thomas W. Hertel, 2001. "Decomposing Welfare Changes in GTAP," GTAP Technical Papers 308, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
    9. Martin, W. & Winters, L.A., 1995. "The Uruguay Round and the Developing Countries," World Bank - Discussion Papers 307, World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    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. Jeong-Soo OH & Phouphet Kyophilavong, 2015. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty in Developing Countries: Literature Survey," International Journal of Economics and Empirical Research (IJEER), The Economics and Social Development Organization (TESDO), vol. 3(2), pages 86-94, Fabruary.
    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. Wilson, John S., 2002. "Liberalizing trade in agriculture : developing countries in Asia and the post-Doha agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2804, The World Bank.
    6. Auffret, Phillipe, 2003. "Trade reform in Vietnam : opportunities with emerging challenges," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3076, The World Bank.
    7. Fukase,Emiko & Martin,William J., 2015. "Economic implications of a potential free trade agreement between India and the United States," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7212, The World Bank.
    8. Nielsen, Chantal Pohl, 2002. "Social accounting matrices for Vietnam 1996 and 1997," TMD discussion papers 86, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    More about this item


    Environmental Economics&Policies; Agribusiness&Markets; Economic Theory&Research; Trade Policy; Labor Policies; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT; Trade Policy; Trade and Regional Integration;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2220. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.