Title: Exporting Vietnam's agricultural and fishery products to European Union market under green trade barriers

Authors: Nguyen Viet Khoi; Le Thi Thanh Thuy

Addresses: VNU University of Economics and Business, 144 Xuan Thuy, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam ' International Union for Conservation of Nature, 1st Floor, 2ABuilding, Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound, 298 Kim Ma, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Abstract: The number of environmental protection regulations, acting as green trade barriers is increasing despite the fact that there is no common policy framework or a powerful international organisation responsible for monitoring them. The vague borderline between environment protection and trade protectionism has fuelled many trade disputes and concerns over its negative impacts on exporting countries. This research is done with a view to providing a comprehensive theoretical framework on impacts of environmental trade barriers as well as exploring how they work in reality, especially in Vietnam and European Union trade relationship. The study finds one important result: requirements to upgrade technology to meet the precise technical regulations and expenditure for conformity assessment actually increase production costs to small and medium companies in the short-term. However, proper adjustments to these requirements will bring about long-term benefits. Specifically, studying the case of applying good agricultural practices (GAP), one kind of voluntary environment regulations reveals that GAP helps to improve products' quality and raise the productivity, which opens an access to developed markets to gain higher profits.

Keywords: green trade barriers; trade protectionism; environmental protection; good agricultural practices; GAP; Vietnam; EU market; European Union; value chains; agriculture; fisheries; agricultural exports; environmental trade barriers; technology upgrades; technical regulations; expenditure; conformity assessment; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDIPE.2013.056994

International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy, 2013 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.309 - 328

Received: 12 Jan 2013
Accepted: 21 Feb 2013

Published online: 25 Sep 2013 *

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