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Re-Regulation in the Post-WTO Period? A Case Study of Vietnam's Food Retailing Sector


  • Hai T. H. Nguyen,

  • Geoff Deverteuil,

  • Neil Wrigley,

  • Kanchana N. Ruwanpura

  • Hai Thi Hong Nguyen is a lecturer at the Department of Economic Management, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam. Her e-mail address is: Geoff Deverteuil is a senior lecturer of Social Geography at the Cardiff School of Planning, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales CF10 3WA, UK. His e-mail address is: Neil Wrigley (FBA) is a professor of Economic Geography at Geography & Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK. His e-mail address is: Kanchana N. Ruwanpura is a senior lecturer in Development Geography at the Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh, Drummond Street, Edinburgh EH8 9XP. Her e-mail address is:


Academic interest on domestic regulatory (and re-regulatory) impacts of retail foreign direct investment remains surprisingly under-researched, despite high-profile campaigns, particularly in Southeast Asia, to rein in the expansion of retail transnational corporations. This paper focuses on the trends of re-regulation of foreign retailers, particularly in the food sector, in Vietnam before and after the accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007. The findings reveal a complex layering of regulation, some of it a holdover from the pre-2007 period and some of it occurring since WTO accession, in the form of the controversial Economic Needs Test.