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FDI Inflows and Domestic Firms: Adjustments to New Export Opportunities

May 6, 2021

Kuala Lumpur Research Seminar Series

  • We investigate the long-run impacts of new export opportunities on foreign,  private domestic, and state manufacturing firms in a low-income country, Vietnam. U.S. imports tariff reductions on  Vietnam, due to the 2001 U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, caused an immediate surge in Vietnamese exports which flattens out in the medium run but continues to grow. The U.S. tariff reductions are associated with an increase in the number of firms, employment, and revenue in Vietnamese industries. While the number of foreign and domestic private firms responds immediately, state firms have a delayed response. Within industries, employment shares shift strongly to new entrants and away from continuing firms in response to tariff cuts. Foreign entrants expand their employment share considerably within high tariff cut industries, whereas private entrants expand in the industries least affected by the US tariff reductions. The large growth in employment share among foreign entrants is due to both initial employment at entry and to employment growth after entry.

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  • Woan Foong Wong is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Oregon. Woan Foong is an international trade economist who studies how trade frictions, in the form of transportation technology and trade policies, shape economic activity, firm outcomes, and trade flows. Her recent projects investigate the implications of entrepôts within the global trade network, the impact of large-scale trade policy reforms in countries with a large state sector, the economic underpinnings of the World Trade Organization rules and regulations governing preferential trade agreements as well as the long-run relationship between trade and growth of cities. She is the recipient of a 2019-2022 National Science Foundation award for her project on trade and city growth, as well as the Sundaran Memorial Prize for Young Malaysian Researchers 2018-19 by the World Bank Development Research Group. A Malaysian native, she completed dual Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Music Composition at Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, as well as earned her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to graduate school, she was a Research Analyst at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.


  • WHEN (KUALA LUMPUR TIME): Thursday, May 6, 2021: 9:00 -10:00am
  • WHEN (ET/WASHINGTON, D.C. TIME): Wednesday, May 5, 2021: 9:00 – 10:00pm ET