Project Title

Workshop on Enhancement of Stakeholder Engagement in the Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO-TFA) 

Project Year

2017   

Project Number

CTI 01 2017A 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

CTI 01 2017A 

Project Title

Workshop on Enhancement of Stakeholder Engagement in the Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO-TFA) 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: General Fund 

Project Year

2017 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

71,127 

Co-funding Amount

4,510 

Total Project Value

75,637 

Sponsoring Forum

Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) 

Topics

Customs 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Viet Nam 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Canada; China; Japan; Malaysia; New Zealand; Peru; Philippines; Singapore; Chinese Taipei 

Expected Start Date

01/06/2017 

Expected Completion Date

3/12/2017 

Project Proponent Name 1

Nguyen Toan 

Job Title 1

Director of International Cooperation Department 

Organization 1

General Department of Vietnam Customs 

Postal Address 1

Lot E3, Duong Dinh Nghe str, Cau Giay, Ha Noi, Viet Nam 

Telephone 1

84-4 39440833 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

icd@customs.gov.vn; hanpn@customs.gov.vn or nhuhapham@gmail.vn 

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

Nugyen Toan 

Project Summary

WTO TFA coming into force motivates and urges the WTO members including APEC members to head its full implementation.Within the Asia Pacific region, APEC can open the way to discuss on strategies that help APEC members gain the WTO-TFA commitments through planning a workshop to share experiences on stakeholder engagement to comprehensively implement the WTO TFA. 

The workshop will utilize the best practices and experiences on implementing WTO-TFA in APEC economies to point out the challenges facing and figure out best measures to address those challenges. More importantly, by the panel discussion, solutions for all-inclusive engagement of stakeholders which is considered as a decisive factor in the full implementation of the WTO TFA are expected to be found. Thus, the workshop will focus on experience-sharing and discussion panels to sort out recommendations for the better stakeholders engagement, and through the workshop, it is expected to establish a network between APEC members for more information sharing later.

Relevance

The project seeks to enhance the cooperation among border agencies, and between public and private sectors in order to fully implement the WTO-TFA after it enters into force. More importantly, the close collaboration between stakeholders creates a significant opportunity to improve the speed and efficiency of border procedures, thereby increasing compliance, reducing trade cost and promoting participation in the global value chain. In addition, the best practices and experience on how to develop the public and private sector partnership that will be shared among APEC members would mobilize for the establishment of the joint inspection and supporting mechanism between competent agencies in each APEC member.

The project will productively contribute to strengthen the connection amongst customs administrations of APEC members through sharing valuable lessons, supporting capacity building and providing technical assistance in the implementation of WTO-TFA.

The topic of the workshop is related to Rank 1 of Trade Facilitation and Liberalization. This workshop will facilitate trade by reiterating the importance of effective coordination and cooperation amongst border agencies and between the public and private sector in the implementation of the WTO-TFA in the Asia Pacific region. Once the coordination problem is solved and leveraging linkages between stakeholders are boosted, it would create opportunities to promote trade facilitation, specifically to simplify and harmonize border procedures that would benefit businesses, thereby bring interests to the community. The workshop also works to accelerate APEC members to utilize available resources and technical assistance activities to push up implementation of the WTO-TFA.

Objectives

The workshop is expected to gain following objectives:

1) To determine the challenges and share the factual lessons and best practices on the development of stakeholder engagement in trade facilitation to improve the weaknesses of this issue amongst APEC members. Improving stakeholder engagement in trade facilitation will help APEC members achieve targets of promoting trade growth, reducing cost and time for businesses. Through this workshop, it can open an opportunity for APEC members to share experiences for full implementation of WTO-TFA and then contribute to promoting the connectivity and mutual support between APEC members in implementing TFA.

2) Develop the regulatory framework for better cooperation amongst stakeholders as well as the recommendations for upgrading infrastructure, human resources, and shortening technology gaps, and an inability to do “one stop” controls, especially for other agencies. To do this, seeking the technical assistance on WTO-TFA Implementation for APEC members is a necessity; and

3) Provide the recommendations not only for Customs Administrations but also for the other border agencies, and guidelines for private sector in implementing the WTO-TFA. The involvement of all collaborators will pave a good way to reduce time and cost in trade transactions.

Alignment

The workshop will engage APEC members to the efforts of implementing the WTO-FTA aiming at pursuing the commitments to "support the complete and effective implementation of the TFA as soon as possible" approved by the leaders in the 2016 APEC Ministerial Meeting, The new Collective Action Plan (CAP) 2016 item of SCCP pointed out the indispensability of the enhancement of cooperation between customs and stakeholders in facilitating trade, improving compliance and ensuring secure trade. Moreover, APEC Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP) that presented in 2016 CTI figured out the objectives of “working towards the full implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), and calling upon the remaining APEC economies to ratify the TFA by APEC Minister Responsible for Trade in 2016 and developing new capacity building projects relevant to the implementation of the TFA for funding under the SCCP sub-fund”.

The project will work to perform the activities in the SCCP Work Program that is in alignment with the APEC priorities. Enhancing the inter-agency collaboration for the implementation of the WTO-FTA would support APEC members to identify their firm orientation of trade facilitation and promoting secure trade, as specified at the Action 6 of the 2016 SCCP CAP of “enhancement of cooperation with stakeholder”. The theme of workshop is also delivered to contribute to obtaining the 2017 CTI’s priority of trade facilitation in global value chains priority of 2017 CTI.

TILF/ASF Justification

The full implementation of the TFA might help developing economies to increase the number of new products exported and promote trade transactions. This proposal is expected to strengthen the coordination between stakeholders and also cooperation between public and private sectors in order to facilitate for trade activities in each APEC member in particular and in the APEC region in general. The workshop seeks to upgrade capacity building of APEC members by full implementation of the WTO-TFA that represents an important milestone by creating an international framework for reducing trade costs, helping solve coordination problems, changing border procedures, increasing customs revenues and reducing the occurrence of corruption especially in developing economies.

Through the workshop, a network amongst APEC members' customs is expected to be established in order to exchange information, experiences and measures applied for trade facilitation in the region. Implementation of trade facilitation is necessary to encourage the development and competition of MSMEs in APEC members especially in developing economies. In terms of simplification of customs procedures and relevant documents, trade facilitation has its importance in strengthening cooperation amongst government agencies and involving other stakeholders for the goals of cost and time savings for business community.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: This project will be a one-day workshop to provide participants with practical experiences on about the implementation of WTO-TFA of the APEC economies, especially how APEC economies involve all relevant stakeholders in fully implementing the TFA after it comes into effect in order to facilitate trade transactions and strengthen trade exchange between the economies Through the shared experiences and discussions, the workshop will help participants including public and private sectors thoroughly acknowledge importance of engaging all stakeholders in conducting the TFA comprehensively.

The workshop will include a panel discussion for attendees to suggest recommendations in order to contribute to supporting the economies in defining and narrowing down the chokepoints and proposing proper policies to encourage and include all relevant parties in the full implementation of the WTO-TFA in each economy. Stakeholders including government agencies and private sector will have a good opportunity to discuss and review their responsibilities and roles in implementing trade facilitation that benefits trade growth in each member and trade exchange amongst economies, thence upgrading their connectivity and cooperation by establishing a network to exchange and share further information about trade facilitation in the APEC region The workshop might also pave the good way for stakeholders to seek technical assistance from the international developed partners.

Those experiences, discussions and recommendations raised by participants, speakers and experts in the workshop will be represented in the final report which will be circulated to all SCCP members and other relevant groups in APEC. Economies can use these report and materials as useful resource or reference documents for their next similar projects.. It is expected that the report can sort out best suggestions for APEC members to build the action plans and define how to engage all entities in completely and effectively implementing commitments of the WTO-TFA. 

Outcomes: The workshop will provide all participants with better understanding of the necessity and importance of stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the WTO-TFA as well as help attendees identify current challenges and obstacles in the comprehensive cooperation among relevant stakeholders of APEC economies in the full implementation of the WTO-TFA. Expertises, experiences and recommendations discussed and pointed outin the workshop are needful to be applied appropriately to the implementation process of the WTO-TFA in each APEC member.

Participants are expected to share all those outcomes with non-participants in order to spread the results of the workshop to all relevant areas. To support creating the network amongst APEC members, the workshop will request participants from SCCP to be the contact point of each APEC member who can lead the way to connect all participants from relevant agencies in updating further information and sharing responsibilities in implementing commitments of the WTO-TFA in each individual economy. To establish an official platform for inclusive and interactive amongst APEC members, the workshop could request to choose a representative (may be customs administration) from the National Trade Facilitation Committee of each economy to be the national focal point who has accountability to exchange and share best practices and development among APEC members.. The network engaging all stakeholders in each economy and the official channel among APEC members may help make proper changes in policy and processes of the WTO-TFA implementation in terms of information transparency, simplification of customs procedures to reduce time and cost for trade transactions, enhancement of responsibilities of government agencies and private sector. The workshop will contribute to improving stakeholders’ acknowledgement of those targets in order to lead to closer cooperation amongst border management agencies. This will bring benefits for both government agencies and business community. 

Beneficiaries: The participants of the workshop will be the mid-level customs officials from the SCCP, policy makers including representatives from CTI and MAG, border agencies’ representatives, private sector representatives and other TFA experts. The speakers would be from the World Customs Organization (WCO), World Trade Organization (WTO), other international organizations, APEC members and private sector representatives.

Thus, direct beneficiaries and stakeholders of this project include: (1) Border agencies’ representatives; (2) Customs officers; (3) Policy makers in government offices (4) Private sector representatives (especially MSMEs’ participants); (5) Development partners (international organizations and intergovernmental agencies) in providing technical assistances. 

In addition, trade facilitation is expected to get cost and time savings. Hence, indirect beneficiaries will include the business community, consumers, service suppliers, carriers. All 21 member economies will be invited to attend the workshop and some of participants from economies will be funded in terms of travelling fees and accommodations. The project organizers will encourage the international and national speakers and experts in trade facilitation field to present and share their experiences to all participants so that all workshop themes could be discussed by the panels and benefit all participants.

Dissemination

Electronic versions of all presentation slides will be sent to the participants before the workshop so that they can share widely within their individual economies. Hard copies of all documents and presentations may be provided to all participants at the workshop.

After the workshop, all documents and the result report of the workshop will be published on the APEC Meeting Document Database so that all APEC members’ delegates including SCCP members and relevant representatives from other government agencies and target audience can benefit by accessing to the source. The final report will be circulated to the SCCP members. In addition, the project host could more widespreadly disseminate the results of the workshop by publications on online newspapers or the Electronic Information Portals so that the broader audience can use the information. All the links where participants can access to the workshop materials will be provided to participants.

No intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

Gender equality will be actively encouraged in this project so that participation opportunities of both men and women are the same.

In preparation process of the workshop agenda topics, discussion sessions and presentations, the project organizers will notice and highlight in the invitation letters to APEC economies and request invited agencies, organisations to dispatch both male and female participants. Furthermore, the organizers will target to invite some female speakers working in trade related-areas so that the workshop could ensure the equality of participation from both men and women participants. To private sector, the organizers will consider to choose and invite representatives as female Chief Executive Officers, presidents, managers or female owners of big companies and enterprises to attend the workshop. 

Full implementation of the WTO-TFA will contribute to enhancing trade cooperation between APEC members. Beside trade facilitation, a more important goal for Asia Pacific region is ensuring trade secure to protect global supply chain in the region. The workshop focuses on promoting the stakeholder engagement in which all government agencies, border protection offices, private sector and international organisations including men and women are equitably encouraged to raise their voices, responsibilities and roles in facilitating trade development in the region. Thus, female participants could be motivated to more effectively join in the supply chain connectivity in which opportunities are created fairly for both men and women. Hence, all participants and audience of APEC members including both men and women are beneficial.

Work Plan

June 2017: The full project proposal gets the approval of APEC Secretariat. After being approved, the project host and the project co-sponsors will work together to schedule the workshop in terms of defining specific date and venue; building the agenda and content sessions; identify speakers and participants; send official invitations.

 The most important preparation for the workshop is to draft the agenda, define topics, themes and presentations targeting to stakeholder engagement in the WTO-TFA implementation and build suggestions for the panel discussion to ensure that the outputs of the workshop would be targeted. Then, all these draft versions will be sent to the SCCP members for comments and feedback to complete the final preparation for the workshop.

July 2017: Meeting arrangements could be confirmed with the invited participants and keep preparing the workshop materials. At the same time, upon the project objectives and preparation of the agenda, topics, presentations, the project organizers will draft the outlines of the workshop report and the survey questionnaire. The final report will be completed during the workshop.

August 2017: The workshop will be held on the margins of SOM3 SCCP meetings.

After delivering the outcome report of the workshop at the second SCCP meeting and publishing the workshop documents, the organizers will circulate a survey questionnaire to APEC members to check how the workshop benefits participants and economies in terms of applying those outcomes on reality of stakeholder engagement, policy-making and border management areas as well as update the information about further steps of implementing the WTO-TFA in APEC members. The questionnaire could focus on main area groups of TFA such as transparency, fees/charges, government/trade cooperation, facilitated procedures, formalities, risk management, customs cooperation, border coordination.

Risks

Possible risks include:

1) Limited time available: Time for scheduling the workshop is very limited while many activities need preparing for the workshop. The project organizers will call up an experienced short-term staff and consultant group to focus on planning and making arrangements for the workshop so that it can help to manage all preparations in line and on track. 

2) Lack of available participants attending: One of the possible risks is securing the choice of proper speakers for the effective workshop. The project organizers will work closely with co-sponsors to invite potential speakers. To avoid last-minute cancellations of speakers, some options of possible back-up speakers should be prepared before the workshop to manage this risk.

Another possible risk is participant-related. Organizers can consult with co-sponsors to make sure to choose proper participants from SCCP members and other fora of APEC. The workshop will be held on the margins of SOM 3, thus, taking this chance, the organizers can send out the invitation and request the SCCP members and other agencies to dispatch representatives who directly involved in the WTO-TFA or policy-makers to join this workshop as an APEC priorities- related event. So the participants’ attendance can be managed by engaging them with benefits provided from the workshop.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Implementation of the WTO-TFA is the responsibility of WTO members including almost APEC members. Sharing the most updated information and experiences on the implementation of the WTO-TFA in members is considered as a good way for members to cooperate with one another in determine the challenges and solutions in enhancing stakeholder involvement.. The workshop will be a forum for participants, speakers, moderators and relevant stakeholders to assess the implementing outcomes of trade facilitation in each member. The project organizers expect that there will be around 90 participants from at least 15 APEC economies (including from SCCP, CTI, MAG,WCO,WTO, international organisations, government agencies, business community) attending the workshop. Among those participants, about 50% women are expected to join.

For the workshop’s objectives evaluation, all participants are expected to fill in the feedback format the end of the workshop to evaluate the quality, effectiveness and outcomes of the workshop in accordance with topics, presentations, overall effects and recommendations for further improvement of the future activities.The project objectives can be measured by a survey questionnaire that is expected to delivered after the workshop. Based on the feedback and survey questionnaire, the organizers can define the challenges, opportunities, effects of the project outcomes to the reality and potentials of economies in the full implementation of the WTO-TFA, After generating comments and feedback from the survey, an evaluation will be made to analyse how the project workshop might contribute to promoting stakeholder engagement in APEC members to comprehensively implement the WTO-TFA.

Linkages

Engagement: The workshop will involve whole efforts of APEC members including government agencies and ministries such as trade and industry, immigration and customs, tax office, health ministry, transportation agency and science and technology ministry; private sector including trade facilitation associations, trade and industry chambers, carriers, logistics service suppliers, forwarders, customs brokers, banks as well as potential international organisations and fora such as APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC),APEC Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity (A2C2), WTO, WCO, United Nation Development Program (UNDP), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Asia Development Bank (ADB). Diversity of participants can lead to an open and lively forum to share wider global experiences on trade facilitation area mentioned in the SCCP Work Program 2017 and the 2017 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT). Project organizers will also consult with CTI and MAG to determine objectives which are appropriate with APEC goals indicated in the Bogor Goals 2020 on trade liberalisation that may be the motivation and catalyst to engage groups within and outside APEC.

Previous work: The project is built on the concern of members on the WTO-TFA, priorities and themes of the SCCP, CTI and APEC 2017 on trade facilitation area. This project will follow up previous APEC initiatives on the implementation of the WTO-TFA, but focus on different issues from previous workshops. This project will highlight on how to improve and expedite stakeholder engagement in APEC members as well as the connectivity and cooperation amongst APEC economies to gain the comprehensive implementation of the WTO-TFA after it came into effect.

APEC’s comparative advantage: APEC funding is the best source of funding because it APEC has been implementing the WTO-TFA and trade facilitation reaching to trade liberalisation is a big goal of APEC. Thus, it paves the good way for participants from APEC economies and diversity of organisations to attend and present global experiences and broad recommendations so that the workshop results will be beneficial and might contribute to gaining the trade facilitation goal of APEC.

Sustainability

The project on enhancement of stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the WTO-TFA is the first one funded  by APEC after the WTO-TFA came into effect. It is expected to involve all participants from diversity of agencies and business community in joint efforts of conducting the WTO-TFA commitments. This workshop seeks to enhance knowledge, expertise and acknowledge of stakeholders on the importance of implementing the WTO-TFA commitments with view to promoting trade facilitation that is a long-term work in APEC region.

Currently, Viet Nam Customs has been assigned by the government as the national focal point to coordinate with other relevant agencies in implementing the WTO-TFA. Thus, after the project completion, Viet Nam Customs will follow up this project’s outcomes to build next steps for the WTO-TFA implementation in Viet Nam. It can be done through self-funded activities or seeking technical assistance from the developed partners and international organizations. In addition, after the first SCCP 2017meeting, the customs-customs cooperation in the WTO-TFA implementation has been approved as a new item in the SCCP meeting’s agenda. This will request SCCP members to continue conducting further acions aiming at fulfilling member responsibility. Thus, this project will be a chance for participants to bring useful experiences back home and apply directly into their domestic actions.

The subject of trade facilitation is one of the important concerns of the SCCP meeting, and it is also the common topic in CTI and other APEC fora. Thus, the organizers will use the questionnaire after the project completion to track and measure progress and impacts of the workshop outcomes on the next steps of APEC economies.

Project Overseers

Nguyen Toan
Director, International Cooperation Department
General Department of Viet Nam Customs

Mr. Nguyen Toan is experienced in joining the WTO-TFA negotiation rounds and conducting relevant activities of trade facilitation. He is in charge of negotiation all mutual assistance agreements between Viet Nam Customs and other customs administrations in terms of bilateral and multilateral cooperation including the framework of WTO, WCO and APEC. 

Nguyen Thi Vinh Hoai
Officer
International Cooperation Department
General Department of Viet Nam Customs 

Ms. Hoai is responsible for all matters of the SCCP APEC framework. She had joined in programs of implementing the WTO-TFA-related activities. She has been also engaged in some projects of trade development cooperation betweenViet Nam Customs and other customs administrations.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Speakers: The PO seeks APEC funding to support 6 speakers in total for the one-day Workshop.

Short-term staffs (clerks): The PO seeks APEC funding for 3 short-term staffs who will handle logistics arrangements for holding Workshop (250 hours total).

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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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?

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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

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Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

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