Trade Policy Reforms and the Structure of Protection in Vietnam

27 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2006

See all articles by Prema-chandra Athukorala

Prema-chandra Athukorala

Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University; Australian National University (ANU)


This paper examines the current state of the trade policy regime in Vietnam against the backdrop of market-oriented policy reforms undertaken over the past one-and-a-half decades. The core of the paper is an in-depth analysis of the structure of protection, focusing on both incentives for import-competing production and the bias in the incentive structure against export production compared to import-competing production. It is found that, despite notable reform efforts, the structure of protection in Vietnam is still out of line with that of the major trading nations in the region, in terms of the level and the inter-industry dispersion of nominal and effective protection rates. There is a clear anti-export bias in the incentive structure, even though the degree of the bias has considerably declined over the years. There is no evidence to justify the existing protection structure on grounds of infant industry protection or employment generation.

Suggested Citation

Athukorala, Prema-chandra, Trade Policy Reforms and the Structure of Protection in Vietnam. The World Economy, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 161-187, February 2006, Available at SSRN: or

Prema-chandra Athukorala (Contact Author)

Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University ( email )

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Australian National University
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
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+61 26125 3700 (Fax)


Australian National University (ANU)

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