Project Title

APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Identifying and Addressing Difficulties and Challenges that hinder SMEs from taking Trade Benefits and Advantages of RTAs/FTAs in the Region 

Project Year

2015   

Project Number

SME 06 2015T 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

SME 06 2015T 

Project Title

APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Identifying and Addressing Difficulties and Challenges that hinder SMEs from taking Trade Benefits and Advantages of RTAs/FTAs in the Region 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

TILF Special Account 

Sub-fund

None 

Project Year

2015 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

99,999 

Co-funding Amount

25,146 

Total Project Value

125,145 

Sponsoring Forum

Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG) 

Topics

Small and Medium Enterprises 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Viet Nam 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Indonesia; Japan; Mexico; Peru; Philippines; Chinese Taipei 

Expected Start Date

01/09/2015 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2016 

Project Proponent Name 1

Bui Hong Duong 

Job Title 1

Director of APEC-ASEM Division 

Organization 1

Ministry of Industry and Trade 

Postal Address 1

54 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ha Noi, Viet Nam 

Telephone 1

84-4 22205419 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

DUONGBH@moit.gov.vn / DUONGMOIT@gmail.com 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Bui Hong Duong 

Project Summary

This project well aligns with Barrier 9 identified at the Joint Ministerial Statement of APEC Trade and SMEs Ministers in May 2011 which particularly focuses on difficulties in taking advantage of preferential tariff rates and other aspects of trade agreements. The project aims to:

1) Increase the awareness of both public and private sectors about the great trade and investment benefits of the implementation of signed RTAs/FTAs to SMEs;

2) Develop a set of policy recommendations to address potential difficulties and challenges that hinder SMEs from taking advantage of trade and investment benefits of signed RTAs/FTAs;

3) Share best practices and experiences of how to utilize trade and investment opportunities from RTAs/FTAs, in turn, lower the overall costs of import and export as well as increase business competitiveness in the whole region; and

4) Provide a unique platform for networking among key actors from both public and private sectors to foster effective inter-sectoral collaboration.

The Dialogue is expected to be held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, late 2015 or early 2016.

Relevance

Relevance - APEC: Freer trade and investment flows are the main source of economic growth and greatly contributes to the pace of economic integration and globalization. It also allows businesses, including SMEs and MSMEs to tap into regional and international markets, as well as to create more jobs through lager production and exports. In fact, APEC member economies have been experiencing with a major increasing number of RTAs/FTAs over the last two decades. According to a recent study, compiled by the APEC PSU in 2015, the number of FTAs enforced by APEC member economies had increased by more than 20 times from 7 RTAs/FTAs in the 1990s to 144 at present, approximately 53 percent of the global number of RTAs/FTAs.

Whereas the current APEC regional economic growth is majorly contributed by SMEs, which accounts for more than 90% of all enterprises in the region. However, many SMEs encounter difficulties and challenges in taking advantage of trade and investment benefits of RTAs/FTAs, thus limit their potential to contribute to regional economic growth through improved global trade access across borders. In particular, many SMEs not only be able to grasp the contents of existing RTAs/FTAs, but also the rules of origin for their own products, owing to their manpower shortfall as well as the lack of information of SMEs about the benefits of RTAs/FTAs. Therefore, a suitable mechanism to further facilitate the participation of SMEs and helping them to take advantages of implemented RTAs/FTAs in the region for SMEs should be reinforced in the coming time.

This project well aligns with the Barrier 9, identified at the Joint Ministerial Statement of APEC Trade and SMEs Ministers in May 2011 in Montana, USA, particularly focusing on difficulties in taking advantage of preferential tariff rates and other aspects of trade agreements. In addition, “the Report of the SMEs Stocktaking Exercise”, prepared by the PSU and presented at the CTI 2 and SOM 2 last May 2015 shown that “there had been relatively few activities targeting SMEs in addressing Barrier 9 so far”.

In 2012, APEC SMEs Ministers reiterated “the importance of addressing trade barriers identified in Big Sky, Montana” and “instructed officials to continue efforts to reduce such barriers” as soon as possible. Most recently, APEC Trade Ministers in Boracay, the Philippines have reiterated that SMEs and MSMEs, for the most part, were also unable to participate in direct exports, due to cumbersome rules and procedures etc., and that a big gap remained to be addressed-the direct participation of micro and small enterprises in regional and global trade. Trade Ministers also agreed to “facilitate the access of MSMEs to FTAs/RTAs by simplifying and streamlining rules of origin (ROO) procedural and documentary requirements etc.”

This project, therefore, will serve as a good platform for open dialogue among trade and investment policy-makers, regulators, SMEs associations and SMEs in APEC member economies to discuss on possible and potential impediments that SMEs may encounter in taking advantage of trade and investment benefits of RTAs/FTAs in the APEC region.

Relevance - Rank: This project falls under Rank 1 of the APEC funding Criteria as it directly associates with the 2015 priority of “promoting SMEs Development including improving access to global market”. The project will bring together both public and private sectors representatives to mutually identify and to address impediments that really challenge the broad use of RTAs/FTAs implementation in the APEC region.

Objectives

1) Increase the awareness of both public and private sectors about the great trade and investment benefits of the implementation of signed RTAs/FTAs to SMEs.

2) Develop a set of policy recommendations to address potential difficulties and challenges that hinder SMEs from taking advantage of trade and investment benefits of signed RTAs/FTAs.

3) Share best practices and experiences of how to utilize trade and investment opportunities from RTAs/FTAs, in turn, lower the overall costs of import and export as well as increase business competitiveness in the whole region.

4) Provide a unique platform for networking among key actors from both public and private sectors to foster effective inter-sectoral collaboration.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC: First, this project is in line with the APEC 2015 theme of Inclusive Growth, focusing on the establishment of a more inclusive economic environment across the Asia-Pacific region.

Second, this project also is designed to implement APEC Leaders and Ministers’ instructions in 2011, 2012 and 2013 as well as the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs of MRT 21.

Last but not least, the project greatly contributes to one of the main objectives of the 2013-2016 SMEWG Strategic Plan, which is strengthening the Participation and Access to Global Markets for MSMEs.

Alignment - Forum: The SMEWG Strategic Plan 2013-2016 prioritizes the issue of “strengthening the Participation and Access to Global Markets for SMEs and MEs’’ in its mission statement. In addition, in its agreed priorities, objectives and key performance indicators, the issue of Business, Environment, Market Access and Internationalisation also aim at Enhancing SMEs’ MEs’ Capacity to Internationalize, and Assist SMEs identify Foreign Business opportunities.

TILF/ASF Justification

This project seeks TILF Special Account.

According to Bullet 8, page 28 of the Osaka Action Agenda, “SMEs are critical engine for growth and innovation in the Asia- Pacific region” and “APEC economies will cooperate to maintain and develop SME dynamism by improving the economic environment so that SMEs may fully exploit their creativity and mobility”. Accordingly, APEC economies will ensure the availability and transparency of information by, through this project, holding an open dialogue to increase the awareness of both public and private sectors about the great trade and investment benefits of the implementation of signed RTAs/FTAs to SMEs, and to share best practices and experiences of how to utilize trade and investment opportunities from RTAs/FTAs, in turn, lower the overall costs of import and export as well as increase business competitiveness in the whole region.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: One of the outputs will be a 2-day Dialogue to be held in Ha Noi city, Viet Nam in 2016. The Organizing Committee will invite speakers from the public and private sectors to share best practices and experiences of how to utilize trade and investment opportunities from RTAs/FTAs, in turn, lower the overall costs of import and export as well as increase business competitiveness in the region. Furthermore, during the last session of the Dialogue, lessons and recommendations suggested by Dialogue attendants will be discussed.

Estimated indicators: Number of participants and diversification of participants.

A report will be produced after the Dialogue as one of the project’s outputs. This report will be composed of the following, but not limited to, sections: introduction of the project; briefings of the presentations made at the Dialogue, including good practices (if any); briefings on discussions at the Dialogue; suggested recommendations made by Dialogue attendants and the project consultant.

Estimated indicators: (i) Progress of draft and final reports; (ii) Dissemination of draft and final reports to Dialogue participants and SMEWG.

The Organizers hope that the Dialogue will equip participants with increased awareness about the great trade and investment benefits of the implementation of signed RTAs/FTAs to SMEs. This is one of the expected outputs for this project. Better understanding may help Dialogue participants to reap more benefits from RTAs/FTAs.

Estimated indicators: Score of satisfaction in the questionnaires responded from Dialogue participants and evaluation of participants’ understanding by conducting post-event survey after completion of the Dialogue.

The fourth output of this project is the collaboration among Dialogue attendants. A network will be built during and after this Dialogue among participants. In addition, since the final session of the Dialogue will focus on lessons learnt and recommendation for future activities, such identification of next steps will be one of critical outputs of this project. 

Estimated indicators: Number of participants are interested in this project through practical activities. 

Outcomes: Dialogue participants will gain an increased awareness and knowledge about the great trade and investment benefits of the implementation of signed RTAs/FTAs to SMEs. Dialogue participants will be encouraged to propose recommendations on further work to assist SMEs in reaping benefits from RTAs/FTAs in the APEC region.  They will have the opportunity to raise any useful policy suggestions in practice once returning to their home economies or organizations. 

Similar Dialogues may be held in the future in order to improve awareness and knowledge about the great trade and investment benefits of the implementation of signed RTAs/FTAs to SMEs in individual APEC member economies. 

Recommendations of this project may be submitted to APEC SMEMM in 2016 for considerations and instructions. APEC members, in accordance with their domestic circumstances, may pursue relevant trade and investment policy actions to apply recommendations from this project to their home economies with view to assist SMEs in reaping benefits from RTAs/FTAs. 

Beneficiaries: The direct beneficiaries of the project are SMEs, as they can get a better understanding and knowledge on how to take advantages of RTAs/FTAs to further expand their export opportunities. Public sector representatives can also benefit from economies’ best practices of how they can promote RTAs/FTAs utilization in their daily business practices. In particular, public sector participants may be middle-level negotiators of RTAs/FTAs or experts come from agencies in charge of implementing RTAs/FTA, disseminating information on RTAs/FTAs or assessing impacts of RTAs/FTAs on the business community and SMEs. Regarding SME participation, the Organizers will encourage participants from SME Associations or a typical SME that is utilizing RTA/FTA in their business activities since these participants will either be able to disseminate information from the Dialogue to similar events in their home economies or able to provide pragmatic experience during Q&A at the Dialogue. Moreover, consumers will be indirect beneficiaries as SMEs’ lower product costs are the outcomes of SMEs’ taking advantage of preferential tariff and other aspects of FTAs.

Dissemination

Electronic Publication will be used to disseminate the Dialogue's documents widely.  APEC's official website will be the main one to upload the documents.  Other Vietnamese Ministries' websites (eg Ministry of Industry and Trade, SME Development Agency, Viet Nam's Chamber of Commerce and Industry) could also be used to disseminate the information with hyperlink to APEC website.  Other means of dissemination such as press release and social media will also be used.

The project targets SMEs, SMEs associations, SME policy-makers, RTAs/FTAs negotiators relating to SMEs, interested academic representatives, SMEs local/regional/international organisations, etc.

No intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

Gender issues are addressed by the project proponent. Women are involved in the development of this proposal, and one of the Project Overseers is a woman. Both men and women will get equal opportunity to participate in the project implementation, including in the process of preparatory stage, consultation and direct labours, etc.

In addition, to address gender concern and make sure that men and women are engaged efficiently in the Dialogue, the evaluation form delivered at the end of the Dialogue will include information on gender to aggregate for project assessment. PO expected that at least 40% of Dialogue participants will be female. The Organizers will also encourage speakers to incorporate RTA/FTA-related gender issues while making their presentations. In addition, to ensure that the outcomes of the Dialogue are made widely available to women involved in SMEs, the Organizers will consider inviting a speaker from PPWE who has expertise on the issue and having the outcomes of the project presented to PPWE with the intention of capitalizing on existing PPWE channels to disseminate information and create awareness amongst women-owned SMEs.

To encourage women’s participation in the Dialogue, in the General Information note of the event, PO will call for SMEWG focal points to select and nominate female participants to attend the Dialogue. 

As the number of women SME participating in actual operational activities of goods and services providing and export, as well as in relevant policy-making processes has been increasing, women will also benefit from this Dialogue. The Project’s outputs and all the Dialogue materials will be uploaded to the APEC website, thanks to which women might access to the website for information and knowledge.

Work Plan

Timeline

Actions

October - November 2015

Draft the Dialogue agenda and circulate it to economies for comment. Economies are strongly encouraged to provide comments on the draft agenda to the Dialogue Organizers.

Incorporate the comments and finalize the agenda to reflect all interests by stakeholders.

Invite and secure speakers for the Dialogue, from international organizations, research institutes and APEC economies.

Promotion and dissemination of information on the Dialogue.

December 2015 - January 2016

Invite participants from relevant APEC Ministries/ agencies - academia and research institutes in APEC member economies.

Confirmation of the event details (a General Information document is circulated to SMEWG representatives for nominating Dialogue participants).

Preparation work by the Organizing Committee (logistic and documentation)

February - March 2016

Implementation of the 2-day Dialogue

April - May 2016

Upon conclusion of the Dialogue, event organizers will work with co-sponsors, speakers and other participants to draft a report for the APEC SMEWG.

Report of this project will be circulated to SMEWG and other APEC for a (such as ABAC, CTI) for information. Viet Nam will work with economies to provide suitable language on this Dialogue in the SMEMM Statement; however, this will depend on consensus among APEC member economies.
 

Risks

The risks which may involve in implementing this project are as follows:

Risk

Description

Mitigation

Speakers

Selection of suitable and  prominent candidates with vast experience

Early consultations with international organizations, agencies, and APEC economies in identifying prominent speakers

Cancellation of speakers

Secure back-up speakers for the Dialogue and send immediate invitations when there is a cancellation of speaker(s)

Participants

To get quality and quantity from APEC economies

-  Consult with co-sponsoring economies to set general criteria for participants and highlight it in the General Information document sent to SMEWG representatives for nominating Dialogue participants.

Awareness

Dissemination and marketing of the event

To actively market and promote the event through SMEWG representatives

Logistics and facilities

Restricted selection based on capacity and budget

Early reservation and planning

Monitoring and Evaluation

The PO will work closely and regularly with co-sponsoring economies in determining the content of the Dialogue’s agenda, selection of speakers, moderators, experts and participants for the Dialogue. The project will adhere strictly to APEC project implementation procedures, including the timeline of actions.

An evaluation form will be prepared and distributed to all participants (the Organizers expected that there will be 80 participants attending the Dialogue) as well as the speakers, moderators and experts to assess the effectiveness of the Dialogue with respect to the relevance on the topics, presentations by speakers, overall impact and suggestions for further improvement and/or activities for future projects. The organizing committee will compile all comments and reflect them into the final report, which will be submitted to the APEC SMEWG for consideration.

The final report will be developed and submitted to SMEWG, as well as uploaded to APEC Publication Database. The gender issue will be seriously considered during the implementation of the project.

Linkages

Engagement: Project organizers will bring together: policy-makers/regulators of APEC economies, experts from international organizations such as OECD and PECC to gain and enhance knowledge and experience on how SMEs can benefit from FTAs. Project organizers will also circulate a draft agenda to SMEWG for comments and suggestions.  On completion of the Dialogue, a final report with recommendations will be circulated to relevant APEC sub-fora (SMEWG, ABAC) for reference.

Previous work: None

This is the first project focusing on trade and investment benefits of the implementation of signed RTAs/FTAs to SMEs.

APEC’s Comparative Advantage: APEC is the best source of funding for this project because APEC has been working hard towards a free and opener trade and services for all sectors, including SMEs.

Sustainability

After the Dialogue takes place, the Project Organizers will work with consultant, speakers and participants to develop recommendations for concrete, future steps that are selected based on the input provided by the Dialogue. These recommendations will be sent to SMEWG by a representative from Viet Nam. SMEWG will consider and if possible, endorse the recommendations as well as the follow-up activities developed from the Dialogue.

The Dialogue materials will be available for use by participants, economies, stakeholders and beneficiaries long after the project has been completed, through its availability as a handout document and online at no cost on the AIMP. In the short term, future actions on this area may lead to a development of a guidebook or reference toolkit on SMEs’ utilization of RTAs/FTAs. References, presentations, and recommendations from this Dialogue may form a good baseline for such guidebook and/or toolkit. Dialogue speakers and participants are also valuable resources to get inputs or experts for future survey, questionnaires, field trips or other activities. It is also expected that the lessons and experiences from Dialogue will have positive impacts and enhance the development of SMEs from easier access to international markets through FTAs/RTAs. To measure such impacts, questionnaires circulated to Dialogue participants will include a question on possible impact after the Dialogue. In addition, evaluation of participants’ understanding and impacts will be conducted by a post-event survey 2-3 months after completion of the Dialogue.

The outcomes and recommendations of this Dialogue may be used as the input for future projects/ studies in SMEWG.

Project Overseers

The Project Overseers will be:

1/ Name: Mr. BUI Hong Duong

Organisation: Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam

Address: B407, No. 54 Hai Ba Trung street, Ha Noi, Viet Nam

Tel: +84-4-222-054-19

Fax: +84-4-222-025-25

E-mail: duongbh@moit.gov.vn and duongmoit@gmail.com

Mr. BUI Hong Duong is the Director of APEC-ASEM Division, under the Multilateral Trade Policy Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam. He has been working on APEC issues since 1999 and has variously implemented a number of APEC projects on trade and investment related issues, such as RTAs/FTAs, infrastructure investment, IPR, government procurement, SMEs financing etc. He also oversaw two APEC projects on carrying-out study reports on SMEs and MEs as well as filling the infrastructure investment gaps among APEC member economies. His valuable experiences and knowledge in APEC as well as APEC projects would be of great contribution and practical for this project’s implementation, while ensuring APEC’s value to be appropriately added.

2/ Ms. Vu Lien Huong, Director, General Affairs Division, Multilateral Trade Policy Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam

Tel: 84-4-22205422;
Fax: 84-4-22202525;
Email:
patbeo81@gmail.com

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

The Project Overseer seeks APEC funding to support 7 speakers in total for the 2-day Dialogue.

Consultant: will work with speakers and discussants in drafting, revising and finalizing agenda; take notes; develop and finalize the report of the Dialogue with recommendations; work as a coordinator in all substantive matters (240 hours total), seek APEC Funding.

Secretaries: will assist consultant to organize the Dialogue (substance and paperwork) (600 hours total), self-fund.

Short-term staffs (clerks): will handle all logistics and most of administrative arrangements for the organization of the Dialogue (500 hours total), seek APEC Funding (400 hours) and self-funding (100 hours).

Waivers

Waiver

Justification

Waiver for advance payment

Travel airfare, per diem for speakers, active participants - to encourage participation in the project.
 

Fund 7 speakers for the Dialogue

PO requests for funding of 7 speakers for both days. As the Dialogue will last for 2 days, 7 speakers are needed: 5 speakers for the first day and 2 speakers for the second day. We need all speakers to stay until the end of Dialogue because they will contribute to the recommendations of Dialogue which is one of the most important outcomes of the project.

This request with justification will be sent to PD in charge during implementation process.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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