Trade and Poverty Reduction

New Evidence of Impacts in Developing Countries

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Global trade has contributed strongly to reducing poverty but important challenges remain in making trade work for the poorest. This publication presents eight case studies to reveal how trade can help to reduce poverty in developing countries. It focuses on four constraints faced by the extremely poor – namely that they tend to live in rural areas, work in the informal sector, live in fragile and conflict-affected regions and face gender inequality. The case studies identify ways to overcome these constraints, including through the adoption of policies that maximize the contribution of trade to poverty reduction. The studies also highlight the ongoing gaps in data and research that constrain policy-making. The publication is a follow-up to The Role of Trade in Ending Poverty, co-published by the WTO and the World Bank in 2015, which examined the challenges the poor face in benefiting from trade opportunities. The country-specific approach of this new publication complements the global perspective of the previous report.



Trade Openness and Vulnerability to Poverty in Viet Nam under Doi Moi

Following the so-called “Asian option” of transition, from the early 1990s Viet Nam adopted the Doi Moi (renovation) process, a combination of liberalization, stabilization and structural reforms. This included two main waves of trade liberalization, one in the 1990s and a second in the 2000s (Coello at al., 2010). The first wave lasted from the initial opening of the country until approximately 2001 and foresaw the total abolition of trade licences and the removal of most quantitative restrictions (Thanh and Duong, 2009). The second wave—still ongoing—includes the full involvement of the country in the global network of reciprocal trade agreements (both multilateral, WTO accession in January 2007, and bilateral, such as agreements signed with the United States in 2001 as well as FTA negotiations with the EU concluded in 2016).


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