Publication: Vietnam: Connecting Value Chains for Trade Competitiveness

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Pham, Duc Minh
Hollweg, Claire Honore
Mtonya, Brian
Nguyen, Thuy
Vietnam's export-led growth strategy and global integration are among the key factors behind thecountry's remarkable achievements in growth and poverty reduction over the last two and a halfdecades. During this period, Vietnam's per capita income increased nearly fourfold and povertywas reduced from around 53 percent in 1992 to 2 percent in 2016. Vietnam has become one of themost open economies in the world with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 187.52 percent in 2018. Merchandiseexport growth averaged more than 15 percent per annum in the last ten years; nearly five times theglobal export growth. The country's export basket has improved in its technological content and hasdiversified in both its geographic destination and its product mix. There are nevertheless challenges that continue to confront Vietnam’s export performance. Many of Vietnam's manufacturing exports have low domestic value addition, where Vietnam performs primarily assembly functions. Trade costs remain high compared to the average regional level. Domestic firms' participation in key global value chains (GVCs) is limited, and instead, export performance is largely driven by the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector, accounting for more than 70 percent of total exports. Vietnam will likely be able to maintain its high export performance even if these challenges are not addressed, but there is scope for Vietnam to benefit even more from trade.
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Pham, Duc Minh; Hollweg, Claire Honore; Mtonya, Brian; Winkler, Deborah Elisabeth; Nguyen, Thuy. 2019. Vietnam: Connecting Value Chains for Trade Competitiveness. © World Bank, Hanoi. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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