Economic Twins but Not Identical Vietnam and the Philippines: Potentials for Cooperation from an Economic Perspective | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online


The security and economic landscape around the world has become fluid and shifting. As neighboring countries, the Philippines and Vietnam confront common geopolitical challenges. Here, the paper examines their economic structures while keeping an eye on possible venues for cooperation. At the macro-level, the two countries are very similar, almost like twins. They have around the same land area, population, and economic size. For this reason, an economic partnership between them could be enduring in the sense that one cannot dominate the economy of the other. At a closer look, they are very different. For one, their topographies are different with Vietnam located in mainland Southeast Asia and with the Philippines an archipelago in maritime Southeast Asia. More importantly, the main driver of their economies is different with the industry sector in Vietnam and the services sector in the Philippines. Their economic structures are not in direct competition and can be complementary with the other. Based on a detailed analysis of their current account balance, the two countries have many common interests to pursue in the international community: promoting a global regime that regulates FDI towards the improvement of human welfare in working conditions and environmental protection, lobbying the international community to promote worker welfare of exporting countries, information exchange on effective programs for their workers overseas, as well as developing effective programs and policies to address the social costs incurred when family members work overseas.


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