Commodity Income Management: Selected Southeast Asian Economies

By Hank Lim, Lim Tai Wei on June 26, 2007
The fifth in a series of seven case studies examining national responses to the commodity price problem, this comparative study looks at how Malaysia and Viet Nam have addressed volatility in their palm oil and coffee sectors, respectively.

Palm oil in Malaysia and coffee in Vietnam reflect both successes and failures in stabilizing commodity incomes. It is hoped that recommendations can be drawn from each to improve current revenue management policies throughout Southeast Asia. The Malaysian palm oil sector is long established, with a tradition of success in cultivation and primary production. Conversely, Vietnamese coffee represents a newly-emerging industry which has aggressively engaged the international market to become a global leader in recent years.

The paper begins by presenting the two case studies on commodity dependence. The authors then look into the national approaches used by these countries to manage their commodity revenues, and conclude with recommendations for future courses of action, addressing the failures and gaps in past policies for the focus countries and some of their neighbours.

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IISD, 2007