On June 14, a team of local PEP researchers organized a policy conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, to share and discuss their findings on the impact of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) on the Vietnamese agricultural sector. The event attracted key participants from the national government and other institutions, as well as a strong academic and media presence. The event was organized in collaboration with the Vietnam Institute for European Studies (IES).
In this study – selected for support under the PAGE initiative in 2014 – the researchers conducted a rigorous analysis of data from the 1993 and 1998 Vietnam Living Standards Surveys and found evidence that the increased use of imported chemical fertilizers, due to trade liberalization, has a direct impact on labour reallocation, including increased participation in agriculture and reduced participation in nonfarm activities. The team’s analysis demonstrates the transition from nonfarm to farm activities as lower fertilizer prices encourage rural households to move into the agricultural sector. Based on these findings, the researchers recommend that the Vietnamese government carefully consider trade policies as they join the TPP as reducing import tariffs is expected to have a significant impact on the 70% of the population living in rural areas. Find out more about the research methods, findings, and subsequent policy recommendations in the following PEP publications: Working Paper 2016-11 (full paper) and Policy Brief 133
The team’s main objective of the conference was to convey the implications of these findings for policy to policymakers, academics, and the media. Participants included government representatives from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Central Economic Committee. Academics from the Vietnam Institute of Economic and Policy Research and a number of journalists also attended.
Among the participants were key government advisors who stated during the conference that the team’s findings would be submitted to the government for consideration during policy making. Furthermore, the Head of General Economic Department of the Central Economic Committee (CEC, a policy advising organization) stated that the CEC would refer to these findings when advising the government and the policy implications will be incorporated into future policymaking.
As a result of this event, there will be further collaboration between the PEP research team and the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research to develop quantitative analysis at the institute. Additionally, the president of the institute invited the research team leader, Hoang Xuan Trung, to join his research project. The team will also receive a small grant provided by the IES to carry out a study on the “Impact of the US-Vietnam bilateral trade agreement on child development in rural Vietnam”.
The conference also benefitted from substantial national media coverage with two television channels and three newspapers reporting from the event.