This paper presents and uses a new, stylized single country dynamic CGE model to explore the trade-development linkages in Vietnam. Application of this framework involves addressing three basic questions: 1. Does a model that properly determines capacity additions and more fully captures macroeconomic accounting and growth dynamics predict trade levels in a satisfactory manner? 2. Are those capacity additions determined by trade liberalization, and if so, which aspects of trade liberalization? 3. Under this framework what are expected impacts of trade liberalization initiatives, such as past bilateral trade agreements and recent WTO accession, taking into account their potential effect on incentives to invest via both tariff changes and institutional reforms? We also explore the role of the state in determining investment patterns, since the government of Vietnam has played a crucial role in setting both the aggregate level and sectoral pattern of investment in the past. But recently there has been a recovery of foreign investment as well as an upsurge of investment by the domestic private sector. Moreover, Vietnam’s WTO accession agreement was as much about incentives to FDI as it was about tariff concessions, and it spurred ongoing institutional reforms that impact the investment climate.
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