Project Title

APEC Capacity Building on Domestic Consultation in RTAs/FTAs Negotiation 

Project Year

2018   

Project Number

CTI 05 2018A 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

CTI 05 2018A 

Project Title

APEC Capacity Building on Domestic Consultation in RTAs/FTAs Negotiation 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and Global Value Chains (FTAAP and GVCs) 

Project Year

2018 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

122,990 

Co-funding Amount

10,000 

Total Project Value

132,990 

Sponsoring Forum

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Topics

Trade Facilitation 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Viet Nam 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Malaysia; Peru; Chinese Taipei 

Expected Start Date

01/06/2018 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2019 

Project Proponent Name 1

Pham Quynh Mai 

Job Title 1

Deputy Director General 

Organization 1

Ministry of Industry and Trade 

Postal Address 1

54 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ha Noi, Viet Nam 

Telephone 1

84-24 22205522 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

Maipq@moit.gov.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

Pham Quynh Mai 

Project Summary

In response to APEC’s priority to advance regional economic integration (REI) as well as directly contributing to the Action Framework Plan for the 3rd Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI), Viet Nam proposes to hold the “APEC Capacity Building on Domestic Consultation in RTAs/FTAs negotiation”.

The project aims to: (i) Identifying issues, difficulties, and challenges in conducting domestic consultation in RTAs/FTAS negotiation; (ii) Providing policy-makers, negotiators And stakeholders (businesses, NGOs and academics) in various sectors/areas with knowledge and methods on conducting effective stakeholder consultation for FTA negotiation and implementation and other regional integration efforts; (iii) Sharing experiences and practices in conducting efficient domestic consultation in RTAs/FTAs negotiation; and (iv) Making recommendations to APEC/economies on domestic consultation in RTAs/FTAs negotiation.    

The project is completely in line with the eligibility criteria.

Relevance

Relevance - Region: International trade has become an integral part of economies all over the world and significantly contributes to  facilitating domestic development, economic growth and employment. FTAs have proliferated in every region of the global, as currently 619 trade agreements have been notified to the WTO. While FTAs are more commonly negotiated between government representatives bilaterally or multilaterally, the need for greater in-depth and relevant information on the state of the economy and absorb recommendations, particularly concerning sectors most affected by trade liberalization, is increasingly important. One of the key sources of such vital information is stakeholders such as businesses, academics, investors, non-profit organizations (NGOs), etc. However, most stakeholders, especially vulnerable groups such as women-owned enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), small-scale farmers, and workers, etc., find it complicated to contribute their information and opinions to the process of negotiating as well as implementing FTAs. On the other hand, government agencies including policy-makers and FTA negotiators also demonstrate difficulties in conducting consultation with stakeholders including businesses and business associations, academics and NGOs as consultation requests are often ignored. 

Thus, all parties involved in the process of FTA negotiation and implementation need to acknowledge the importance of stakeholder consultation and undertake such activity. Some of the reasons for its importance are as followed: (i) Providing valuable source of information: In certain cases, special sectors are identified as trading interests while negotiating an FTA. Thus, stakeholders can assist in narrowing the sector-specific focus of negotiations; (ii) Increasing transparency in FTA negotiations: By creating an inclusive and participatory negotiation process for FTAs through stakeholder consultations, it allows for an open and more predictable discussion with a reduced threat of pushback from the public and mitigation of other risks.  A less transparent trade negotiation has the potential to cause uncertainty and public dispute. 

This project focuses on capacity building to take advantages of and conduct efficient domestic consultation with the views of developing trade agreements that benefit the economy and their people most

Relevance – Eligibility: This project will be implemented as a project under the Capacity Building Needs Initiative Phase 3 (CBNI3), which was endorsed by Ministers in 2017. As the project contributes to the eventual realization of FTAAP through the implementation of the CBNI initiative, it meets the eligibility criteria (1) (c) of the FTAAP and GVCs sub-fund. In addition, By focusing on providing capacity building to help member economies especially the developing ones to get more high quality FTAs/FTAs (negotiation) through efficient domestic consultation, this project will help to improve the business environment “behind the border”, and enhancing regional connectivity “across the border” and hence accelerating “at the border” trade liberalization and facilitation efforts, hence meeting the eligibility criteria as set out in (1) (d). 

Relevance – Capacity Building: This project will be implemented as a project under the Capacity Building Needs Initiative Phase 3 (CBNI3) endorsed by Ministers in 2017, which further pursues capacity building activities especially for developing economies for a high-standard and comprehensive FTAs/RTAs. It is a fact that almost all APEC member economies are involved in trade negotiation and agreements at both bilateral and/or multilateral levels. Domestic consultation plays an important part in reaching a beneficial agreement for the economies, however, it is also a complicated and challenging process which requires a sound mechanism as well as experiences and expertise. This project will provide capacity building in enhancing the economies’ capacity building in domestic consultation through sharing experiences and best practices in the field.

Objectives

The “APEC Capacity Building on Domestic Consultation in RTAs/FTAs Negotiation” aims at the following:

- Identifying issues, difficulties, and challenges in conducting domestic consultation in RTAs/FTAS negotiation;

-  Providing policy-makers, negotiators and stakeholders (businesses, NGOs and academics) in various sectors/areas with knowledge and methods on conducting effective stakeholder consultation for FTA negotiation and implementation and other regional integration efforts;

- Share experiences and best practices on conducting stakeholder consultation and how to take advantage of such activity to facilitate domestic growth through FTA negotiation and implementation and other regional integration efforts through sharing from the member economies;

- Increasing transparency in RTAs/FTAs negotiations to enhance certainty and minimize public dispute;

- Making recommendations to APEC/economies on domestic consultation in RTAs/FTAs negotiation.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC:  In the 2017 APEC Leaders’ Declaration, the Leaders stressed thatWe reaffirm our commitment to advance in a comprehensive and systematic manner the process toward the eventual realization of an FTAAP to further APEC’s regional economic integration agenda. We commend the efforts of economies to advance work related to the eventual realization of an FTAAP, including capacity building initiatives and information sharing mechanism.” 

APEC Ministers affirm their commitments to enhance capacity building for the member economies by stating in the 2017 AMM Statement that “We look forward to the implementation of the Action Plan Framework for the 3rd REI Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI) and the RTAs/FTAs Information Sharing Mechanism.” 

Alignment – Forum: The project is in line with CTI’s work to advance regional economic integration (REI), including one among efforts to explore an FTAAP through providing capacity building to reach high quality and inclusive RTAs/FTAs which reflect and balance interests of all relevant stakeholders while meeting the objectives of trade facilitation.

It is also in line with the Action Framework Plan for the 3rd REI Capacity Building Needs Initiatives (CBNI), which aims to “building up APEC member economies’ FTA negotiation capacity by providing a platform to share current practices and hands-on experience and exchange views on the emerging issues of FTA negotiations”.      

In addition, it would help continue efforts of the CBNI2 in Transparency that led by Chile since through enhancing domestic consultation, it will help improve the transparency in RTAs/FTAs negotiation.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: Under this project, a 2 day “APEC Capacity Building on Domestic Consultation in RTAs/FTAs Negotiation” will be held to provide the platform for capacity building which will facilitate sharing, understanding, best practices and discussion on improving domestic consultation in RTAs/FTAs negotiation. The ultimate objective is to share experiences and best practices in how to facilitate the consultation process to ensure that all relevant and involved stakeholders that implement or benefit from RTAs/FTAs can make contributions and raise their voices to the RTAs/FTAs negotiation.

The Workshop’s Agenda will be designed to make sure it addresses the concerns of APEC’s member economies/participants especially from the public sector and private sector who play important roles as well as benefit from the domestic consultation. Experienced experts from the public, private sectors and academia will be selected and invited to present, aiming to bring about the most benefits to the participants. The agenda aims to identifying difficulties and challenges as well as sharing best practices and experiences from economies with developed domestic consultation mechanism. The draft agenda will be consulted with experienced experts before official delivery. Therefore, the participants will be equipped with experiences and best practices on how to develop and facilitate consultation process to contribute much to the RTAs/FTAs negotiations. One of the focus will be how to faciliate enterprises’ involvement in the consultation process to ensure their own benefits once concluding RTAs/FTAs negotiations given their great contributions to economic growth and development in almost all economies. Therefore, the agenda might include the following sessions:

i)  Overview of RTAs/FTAs agreements in the APEC region;

ii)  Challenges in conducting consultation for RTAs/FTAS negotiations:

a) from the perspectives of government officials who are directly involved in negotiation;

b) from the perspectives of those who are affected by RTAs/FTAs negotiations (business associations, labor and trade associations, enterprises, women, …)

iii)  Legal aspects/issues in consultation in RTAs/FTAs negotiation

iv)  Women involvement in the consultation process

v) Sharing best practices in consultation process in RTAs/FTAs negotiations among APEC member economies (and outside if relevant).

vi)  Group discussion

vii)  Recommendations

During the project, all the speakers and participants will have the chance to discuss and present their views on what and how APEC should do to help the member economies to improve their domestic consultation in RTAs/FTAs negotiation. These recommendations will be compiled and attached to the Workshop’s report for APEC’s consideration for further action. 

Following the completion of the Workshop, a report will be made and circulated to all the speakers and participants as well as delivered to CTI and other APEC relevant committees, working groups for further discussion and follow-up. The draft report will incorporate all the updates, sharing and discussion at the Workshop. 

A post-workshop evaluation outcomes will also be shared among speakers and participants to ensure transparency as well as to share information with views of improving upcoming project’s efficiency if possible. 

Outcomes: All the speakers and participants are encouraged and asked to participate in the group discussion which will  promote sharing of experiences and best practices in consultation in RTAs/FTAs negotiations in APEC economies as well as share and address issues/difficulties/approaches of their mutual concerns. 

After the project, the participants will have in-depth knowledge to exchange to their colleagues or authorized people in their organizations at home what they have learnt from the Workshop.  Therefore, the good experiences, best practices, hence, are able to be more widespread among competent and/or authorized people in the field in APEC’s member economies, and then have chance to improve their regulations or practices in developing the consultation process for RTAs/FTAs negotiation. The project’s outcomes including sharing and inputs from the vulnerable groups such as women, SMEs, farmers, workers, etc., will serve as inputs for the policy makers, negotiators, etc., to improve domestic consultation process and hence enhance its efficiency to serve better for trade agreement negotiation. 

This project will provide inputs to policy makers, negotiators, experts among APEC member economies, hence, promote APEC efforts in providing capacity building for the member economies in improving domestic consultation in RTAs/FTAs agreements. 

All the outcomes will be reflected in the project’s report. The report will incoporate all the sharing by speakers and participants at the workshop in each session, best practices shared in APEC member economies as well as recommendations made by the speakers and participants to improve the consultation process. The report will be developed and edited by the consultant to ensure the quality of the report within APEC standard. 

Beneficiaries: The selection criteria will be set to make sure that right participants will attend and benefit most as well as be able to bring about significant changes after the Workshop’s completion. The criteria might include, but not limited to:

-  Governments’ officials who are involved in the RTAs/FTAs negotiation and implementation. They might include but not limited to those from Ministry of Industry and Trade, Finance, Planning and Investment, Labour, Natural Resources and Environment, etc.,

- Other stakeholders who are involved and have benefits/voices in RTAs/FTAs such as representatives from business, business associations, labor, trade and social associations, that much involved or benefit from RTAs/FTAs, etc.

Dissemination

The Workshop’s report will be published on the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam’s and APEC’s website for reference and for widespread usage and saving cost. 

The workshop’s report will be shared on APEC project data base, but not APEC publication.

For speakers and participants, both hard copies and soft copies will be provided as described in the PP. To spread the outcomes, the report and materials will be sent to APEC database; the report/press release will be posted on the website of Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam (MOIT).

Hard copies will be provided to all the workshop's participants. 

Electronic publication will also be used to disseminate the workshop's documents widely.  APEC's official website will be the main open to upload the documents.  Other Vietnamese Ministries' websites (eg Ministry of Industry and Trade) could also be used to disseminate the information with hyperlink to APEC website. 

A press release on the Workshop will be published on Vietnam’s media mass (Viet Nam News, Viet Nam News Agency, Economics Times, etc.,). It will also be sent to business associations, research centers, etc. to attract the attention to the event to encourage people to visit the documents online. 

The target audience includes those who are involved directly or indirectly in trade agreements negotiations, business associations, especially import-export enterprises, etc. 

There is no intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

All the reports and related communication materials will comply with APEC Publications, IP and Logo Guidelines.

Gender

Gender issue is seriously taken into account by the project proponent. Women are involved in the development of this proposal and 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 concerns and make sure that men and women are engaged efficiently in the workshop, the evaluation form delivered at the end of the workshop will include information on gender to aggregate for project assessment. 

Female participation as speakers or delegates to the workshop will be encouraged based on the highest efficiency of the project, therefore, the percentage of female speakers and participants will be decided at a later stage. However, the organizers will make sure that women are most encouraged and created favorable conditions to take part in and contribute to the workshop by disseminating information and invitation to as many women as possible. For example, invitations will be sent through APEC PPWE (Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy), female business associations of Viet Nam and APEC member economies if available to invite and draw their attention to the workshop. 

Female leaders will be prioritized to be invited as speakers to the workshop. Among other criteria such as expertise, experiences, contributions, female leaders from enterprises, SMEs associations will be prioritized to join and be funded to attend the workshop.  It will target to reach at least 30%  of female participation in this project if  efficient.

Work Plan

Time

Tasks

Deliverables

Jul – Aug 2018

Improve and have the Project proposal approved
Final Project Proposal.
Sep 2018
Develop the plan to organize the Workshop, including set the time and venue for the event
A master plan.
Oct 2018
Develop and consult the Agenda.

Seek comments from experts and Co-sponsoring economies
Agenda.
Nov – Dec
2018
Prepare the process related to APEC (labor and documents)
Work contracts with APEC.

Complete the labor.

Sign contracts on hosting and other suppliers if yes. 
Jan 2019
Develop the General Information Circulate. Circulate the invitation to CTI and other relevant sub fora
GI.

Invitation.

Feb – Mar 2019
Complete the registration and speakers
Invite and confirm speakers/guests.

Register for participants.

Complete APEC procedures related to funded speakers and participants.

Apr 2019
Organize the workshop
2 day workshop
April – May – Jun 2019
Report and follow up.
Report (including revising, editing); and the final report approved by CTI

Evaluation.

Networking (list of contacts for spreading).

Within 2 months from project end date

the drafting, endorsement and submission of the Completion Report and all supporting documents to the Secretariat.
Endorsed completion report and supporting documents to the Secretaria

6 to 12 months

After the project end date
Participation in the Long Term Evaluation of APEC Projects conducted by the Secretariat, as required by all APEC funded projects.
Participation in Evaluation of APEC Projects.

Risks

One of the risks is to ensure a selection of good speakers in order to make the most of the workshop. The speakers should be, but not limited to, authority officials to represent government; representatives from business associations, enterprises to raise voice of business sector; academics, experts from other relevant organizations, which aim to reflecting points of views from various perspectives. The Organizers will work closely with co-sponsoring economies to nominate and invite the most suitable speakers for the workshop. Invitations to speakers and participants will be delivered at least 2 months prior to the workshop to make sure that conflicts of engagement will be addressed. 

Another concern is to choose the right participants to the workshop. To make sure that right participants are nominated to attend the workshop, the Organizers will consult with co-sponsoring economies to set general criteria for participants. Participants should be government officials who are directly or indirectly involved in the policy making, implementation, negotiations, who have good background as well as relevant work experiences in the field. To ensure the results, invitations will be sent through different fora in APEC including SMEWG and ABAC. For the host economy, the workshop is free open to business sector including business associations; apart from officials from the government and local authorities. 

Another risk is the low quality report. To ensure this, the consultant will be the key person to be in charge of developing the report. He/she will have about 2 month time to draft the report, circulate the draft for comments among speakers and participants, send the draft to CTI for further comments to revise before have it endorsed.

Monitoring and Evaluation

All speakers and participants will be requested to provide feedback on the efficiency and outcomes of the Workshop whether the objectives are met, whether the information sharing is able to bring about changes after its completion and how. 

The evaluation is conducted right after the Workshop. 

An evaluation form will be prepared and distributed to all participants and speakers to assess the effectiveness of the workshop. The evaluation will cover the substance and relevance of the workshop, the presentations by speakers, overall impact and recommendations for improvements and/or future activities. 

The following information will be collected to measure/assess progress and impact: 

-  The first indicator to be used is to assess whether the workshop meets its set objectives. This can be assessed comparing what participants gain from the workshop (using evaluation form) and whether the workshop is able to produce practical recommendations to be submitted to relevant APEC committees/WGs/fora.

- The second indicator can be whether the workshop has accommodated right participants and there have been representatives of both public and private sectors. It is expected that the balance between the public and private sectors ranges from 50% - 50% or at least 40% – 60%. 

- The third indicator can be the quality of speakers; this can be assessed by compiling comments of participants in the evaluation forms. 

- The forth indicator relates to gender issue: How many female participants can attend and learn knowledge/experiences at the workshop and how many female speakers can come and share their expertise and experiences. It is expected to accommodate from 30% to 40% of female participants to attend the workshop. 

-  The fifth one is communication indicator in order to know how widely the workshop’s materials will be disseminated to interested groups in APEC: it is planned that presentations and documents of the workshop will be made available via the APEC Meeting Document Database. The Project’s Report will be presented to SMEWG for consideration. The PO will check with APEC Secretariat to make sure that the materials of the SMEWG will be uploaded to the APEC AIMP; the PO will also be responsible for sending the report to APEC’s relevant working groups. 

-  The knowledge/experiences/best practices that the participants think new or might be appropriate to apply in their economy.

Their recommendations: (i) how to spread the outcomes of the workshop to more relevant people; (ii) how to help promote application of the sharing of the workshop in member economies; (iii) other recommendations if relevant.

Linkages

CTI will oversee this Project and be responsible for disseminating information about the project among APEC member economies. The outcomes will be submitted to CTI for reference and consideration.

The PO also would work closely with ABAC to consult on related issues such as their concerns, developing agenda, inviting speakers, etc., since ABAC is expected to provide views from business perspectives on how to best involve business in the process for their actual benefits. 

The PO and consultant will work closely with previous projects’ POs to make sure that the workshop’s agenda is built upon the outcomes and/or or unaddressed issues of previous ones, avoiding overlapping and/or duplication of those in the area. 

APEC is the right platform and the best sources of fund for this project given the fact that this project directly addresses APEC priorities in promoting regional economic integration (REI), in which trade agreement negotiations are currently on the rise.

Sustainability

Following the workshop, participants are expected to have more in-depth knowledge and experiences in domestic consultation in RTAs/FTAs negotiation, and be able to apply this knowledge to some extent, in their economies to improve the efficiency of domestic consultation. 

To make sure that the workshop meets its objectives, the organizer will report to and seek approval from CTI for the recommendations in particular and the report in general.  Based on the recommendations from member economies, the organizer will consider proposing new activities/initiatives to follow up the outcome of the project. 

The Organizer also considers proposing the phase 2 of the project based on the participants’ recommendations. The networking will be used to review the implementation of recommendations.

Project Overseers

Ms Pham Quynh Mai
Deputy Director General 
Multilateral Trade Policy Department
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Viet Nam
Add: 54 Hai Ba Trung Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam
Tel: (84-24) 2220 5419
Email: MaiPQ@moit.gov.vn

Ms. PHAM has directly involved and contributed to the economic and trade integration of Viet Nam over the last 20 years. She has involved in APEC cooperation in the past years and served as Viet Nam SOM in 2015 and 2016; and Viet Nam Alternative SOM in last 2017. Ms Mai is now Viet Nam Senior Official to APEC since 2018.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Consultant: will work with speakers and discussants in drafting, revising and finalizing agenda; conduct researches, collect, analyze and synthesize data; develop curriculum for the Workshop; take notes; develop and finalize the report of the Workshop with recommendations; work as a coordinator in all substantive matters(248 hours total), seek APEC Funding.


Waivers

Waiver

Justification

Waiver for advance payment

Travel airfare, per diem for speakers, active participants – to encourage participation in the project as many speakers and participants are not able to attend the Workshop because of reimbursement.

Simultaneous interpretation

Vietnamese speakers and local participants are invited to the Workshop, many of them are not English speaking and not good at English.

The Project Overseer seeks APEC funding to cover the fees of simultaneous interpretation for the Workshop. Simultaneous interpretation is very important for this project since many Vietnamese are experts in the field, however, not many of them are English fluent.  The Organizer will prioritize to invite Vietnamese speakers with good command of English but cannot guarantee. The waiver is just for speakers who are not fluent in English speaking.


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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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