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Two sides of the same coin? Viet Nam’s macro resilience under trade-led growth

Elodie Mania, Arsène Rieber and Thi Anh-Dao Tran

Post-Communist Economies, 2022, vol. 34, issue 4, 445-477

Abstract: Viet Nam is following the successive waves of rapid industrialisation in Asia by implementing an export-oriented growth strategy. The country is strongly integrated into global value chains. However, a key concern is whether such trade-led growth is sustainable in the long run and resilient to global shocks.Drawing on a multi-country balance-of-payments-constrained growth model, our objective in the present paper is threefold. Firstly, we examine Viet Nam’s growth performance over the past 30 years of transition and integration. More specifically, we measure the respective contribution of partner areas to its external constraint. Secondly, we analyse how and through which transmission channels the changing geography of international trade has impacted the balance-of-payments-constrained growth rate before and after Viet Nam joined the WTO in 2007. A decomposition of the external constraint into different factors from different sources is proposed in order to assess the outcomes of WTO accession. Lastly, we assess the country’s ability to face the current Covid-19 pandemic. Given its deep integration into the global economy, the geography of trade relations is critical in determining Viet Nam’s vulnerability. This corroborates recent development studies that make a case for partner diversification and growth re-orientation in order to build macro resilience.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/14631377.2021.2006483

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