WTO and the Political Economy of Reform in Vietnam

WTO and the Political Economy of Reform in Vietnam

Thursday, 6 March 2014 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: 
Dahrendorf Room, Founder’s Building, St Antony’s College
Speaker(s): 
Tu-Anh Vu-Thanh (Oxford)
Chair: 
Dr Matthew Walton
Convenor: 
Dr Matthew Walton
Series: 
Southeast Asia Seminar

Conventional wisdom holds that international trade agreements can be used as external pressures and credible commitments to overcome opposition to and lock in domestic economic reforms. This belief, however, underestimates the ability of politicians to use international trade agreements to leverage their policy choices and, at the same time, circumvent these very agreements. As a result, trade agreements may not be conducive to reforms as expected and, in some cases, even become counterproductive. This presentation will illustrate these insights by analyzing the political economy of state-owned enterprise reform in the context of Vietnam’s accession to the WTO.

Vu Thanh Tu Anh is the Director of Research at the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program in Ho Chi Minh City, and currently an Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow at the University College, University of Oxford. His primary research interests include political economy of development, public finance, and industrial policy. Tu Anh has served as a member of the Consultative Group of the National Assembly’s Economic Committee and The National Finance Supervision Council. He frequently comments on economic policy issues in the Vietnamese media and is currently a columnist for the Saigon Economic Times, a leading economic and business journal in Vietnam. Dr Tu Anh received his MA and PhD degrees in economics from Boston College.