Export Competitiveness and the Evolution of Vietnamese Trade

Export Competitiveness and the Evolution of Vietnamese Trade

July 6, 2023

With trade protection on the rise and industrial policy back in vogue in many countries, national resilience is once again on the economic agenda. Some commentators have framed the issue as a choice between economic security and economic integration. They urge developing countries to “produce what they consume and consume what they produce” rather than compete for export markets.

Viet Nam's remarkable economic development over the past three decades challenges the view that international integration and economic security are mutually exclusive. The Vietnamese government recognizes that self-reliance can only be achieved through economic strength, and that global competition serves as a catalyst for efficiency, dynamism, and prosperity.

This paper is the second in a series of UNDP policy briefs in 2023. It makes three main points. First, a strong association exists between export growth and growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in developing countries. As developing countries are typically foreign exchange constrained, export growth removes an important barrier to achieving more rapid growth of output. Second, the paper emphasizes the significance of export competitiveness in maintaining or increasing global market share. The brief introduces measures to assess competitiveness and demonstrates Viet Nam's success in expanding its presence in dynamic and fast-growing product categories. Finally, the policy brief underscores the close association between economic growth in lower- and middle-income countries and the competitiveness of their exports.

Document Type
Regions and Countries
Sustainable Development Goals