Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture

Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture No. 3/06

Agricultural policy and trade of Vietnam in preparation to join the WTO

Hoa Nguyen
National Economics University, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Ulrike Grote
Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn, Germany


The debate about agricultural trade is one of the hottest negotiated issues in the World Trade Organization (WTO). While developed members of the WTO remain reluctant in committing reduction of support for their agricultural sector, many acceding countries from the developing world have been required to liberalize their agricultural sectors in a fast way. Vietnam is one of the cases. As a result of the economic reform initiated in 1986, the Vietnamese agricultural sector has experienced positive development becoming a leading exporter of several products in the world market. Within the reform, constraints on agricultural production and trade have been gradually removed. Currently, the agricultural policy is generally liberal. Support to agriculture via market border measures or budgetary payments remains at a modest level. Nevertheless, Vietnam has been facing onerous requirements by WTO members in accession negotiation. Since July 1998, Vietnam has been involved in multilateral negotiations, focusing on complying with WTO rules. In total, 27 WTO members expressed interest in negotiating with Vietnam bilaterally. This large number implies that many countries and territories are concerned with and/or interested in trading with Vietnam. To be able to cope with the competition, a lot of attention needs to be paid to the quality of Vietnamese agricultural products so that the producers can sustain or even enhance their competitiveness in international trade.

Keywords: agricultural policy, trade, WTO negotiation, Vietnam

JEL: Q 170

Vol. 45 (2006), No. 3: 269-286