Trade Liberalization and the Environment in Vietnam

31 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2006

See all articles by Shreyasi Jha

Shreyasi Jha

Human Development Report Office, UNDP

Muthukumara Mani

World Bank

Date Written: April 13, 2006


Vietnam's integration with the international economy has increased significantly over the past decade, aided by substantial liberalization of trade, and appears set to increase further as trade-expanding measures take full effect. This dramatic shift in Vietnam's trading patterns has important implications for the environment and use of natural resources. This paper offers a systematic analysis of the trading and investment patterns to give a broader understanding of the environmental implications of greater openness of the economy during the past decade. The results suggest increasing manufacturing and export activity in water and toxic pollution-intensive sectors compared with the less pollution-intensive sectors. The story is, on the surface, consistent with the changing composition of Vietnamese production and exports away from traditional sectors and toward pollution-intensive manufacturing (especially leather and textiles). The paper also highlights the need to consider strengthening environmental policies while further trade liberalization is being contemplated through Vietnam's joining of the World Trade Organization.

Keywords: Economic Theory & Research, Environmental Economics & Policies, Water and Industry, Free Trade, Green Issues

Suggested Citation

Jha, Shreyasi and Mani, Muthukumara, Trade Liberalization and the Environment in Vietnam (April 13, 2006). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3879, Available at SSRN:

Shreyasi Jha (Contact Author)

Human Development Report Office, UNDP ( email )

304 E 45th Street, FF-1262
New York, NY 10017
United States


Muthukumara Mani

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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