Project Title

APEC Workshop on Harnessing Digital Trade for SMEs 

Project Year

2018   

Project Number

SME 01 2018 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

SME 01 2018 

Project Title

APEC Workshop on Harnessing Digital Trade for SMEs 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

General Project Account 

Sub-fund

None 

Project Year

2018 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

126,160 

Co-funding Amount

10,000 

Total Project Value

136,160 

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

Hong Kong, China; Mexico; Peru; United States 

Expected Start Date

01/07/2018 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2019 

Project Proponent Name 1

Pham Quynh Mai 

Job Title 1

Deputy Director General, Multilateral Trade Policy Department 

Organization 1

Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) 

Postal Address 1

54 Hai Ba Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam 

Telephone 1

84-4 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

Being aware of the importance and opportunities that the internet and digital economy bring about as well as SMEs’ roles in the economy and their challenges in harnessing digital trade, Viet Nam proposes to hold the APEC Workshop on Harnessing Digital Trade for SMEs’ with the aims of:

-  Identifying and sharing global trends in digital trade; data sources and methods as well as opportunities and challenges to enable SMEs to

-  benefit from digital trade;

-  Identifying policy issues that affect the expansion of digital trade as well as sharing experiences in enabling favorable regulatory environment

-  for SMEs to harness digital trade;

-  Sharing experiences, practices in using digital technologies at both

-  the firm and national levels to promote digital trade;

-  Making recommendations to APEC on how to facilitate SMEs to take advantages of opportunities brought about by digital trade.

Relevance

Relevance – Region: Given the fact that the Internet has great impacts on changing how people interact; how consumers shop; how products and services are designed, developed, marketed, and delivered; and how businesses operate and interact with one another; it is widely recognized that digital trade—commerce in products and services delivered via the Internet—is in the increase and having more and more significant impacts on regional and global economies. 

Across the region, SMEs account for more than 95 percent of all enterprises and generate more than 50 percent of domestic employment. Supporting their integration in digital trade could bring about significant economic growth. While many multinationals actively and proactively take advantages of digital trade to promote their business, SMEs tend to have limited awareness and capability of harnessing digital trade while also facing more difficulties in overcoming policy issues related to digital trade; as a result, they are often less productive and competitive than their larger counterparts. 

While it is agreed that digital trade is “opening opportunities for millions of micro entrepreneurs and small businesses to engage in cross-border trade, grow into multinational sellers, and craft their own global supply chains”, however, “these gains depend on an adequate infrastructure and on supportive policies at national and international levels. These challenges might include inadequate broadband connectivity and skills in information and communications technology; policy and regulatory issues which represent increasing costs to digital companies, such as onerous legal liability regimes and data privacy rules; limited adoption and use by small businesses of digital technologies, such as e-commerce or online payments; the traditional challenges to cross-border trade, and national digital infrastructures and regulations that are incomplete and do not interact optimally with those of other economies.” [1]

Bear this in mind, the project contributes to promote digital trade for the benefits of SMEs through identifying opportunities and challenges  facing SMEs in digital trade; advancing their awareness and capability through sharing experiences and practices in harnessing digital trade for SMEs. 

Relevance – Eligibility: This project directly respond to the GPA’s priority that aims at strengthening MSMEs’ Competitiveness and Innovation in the Digital Age since it focus on how to take advantage as well as facilitate SMEs benefit from digital trade. 

Relevance – Capacity Building: By focusing on providing capacity building for SMEs to take advantages of digital trade, it contributes to APEC capacity building’s goals and objectives that aim to attain sustainable growth and equitable development in the Asia-Pacific region; to reduce economic disparities among APEC economies; and to improve the economic and social well-being of the people since SMEs account for more than 95% in the region and contribute much to job creation, stability and wealth of the region.


[1] Fuelling Trade in the Digital Era – Policy Roadmap for Developing Countries – by Kati Suominen – ICTSD.

Objectives

The “APEC Workshop on Harnessing Digital Trade for SMEs” aims at:

- Identifying and sharing global trends in digital trade; data sources and methods as well as opportunities and challenges to enable SMEs to harness and benefit from digital trade;

- Identifying policy issues that affect the expansion of digital trade as well as sharing experiences in enable favorable regulatory environment for SMEs to harness digital trade;

- Sharing experiences, practices in using digital technologies; and

- Making recommendations to APEC on how to facilitate SMEs to take advantages of opportunities brought about by digital trade.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC:  In the 2017 AMM Statement, the Ministers stress that “We support initiatives to foster greater MSMEs' capacity and participation in e-commerce, and promote “Online-to-Offline” (O2O) model and digital resilience” and that “We emphasize that MSMEs’ participation in the digital economy should foster inclusive growth and reduce inequality”. 

In the 2017 Leaders’ Statements, the Leaders state that “We will work together to realize the potential of the internet and digital economy, including through appropriate regulatory and policy frameworks, and taking into account fair competition to encourage investment and innovation. We welcome the adoption of the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap” and also affirm that “We commit to strengthen the ability of MSMEs to compete in international markets and participate in global value chains through enhancing MSMEs digital capabilities, competitiveness and resilience”.

With a focus on how to enable SMEs to take advantages of digital trade, this project aims to respond to APEC Leaders’ and Ministers’ concerns and commitments to enhance SMEs’ capacity to “realize the potential of the internet and digital economy”. 

Alignment – Forum: The SMEWG has endorsed its Strategic Plan for 2017 – 2020, which missions itself to “promote the development of an enabling environment, foster capacity building for SMEs and enhance the synergy with other APEC fora, the private sector and other stakeholders to promote the development and growth of SMEs, and to maximize the benefits of policy dialogue and best practices sharing in the Asia-Pacific region”. In particular, one of their priority areas is “entrepreneurship, innovation and the internet and digital economy” which aims to “helping SMEs to build capabilities to take advantage of and compete effectively in the internet and digital economy”.

In this regard, the project directly contributes to the SMEWG’s Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020 with a focus on enabling SMEs to take advantages of the digital trade.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: A 2 day “APEC Workshop on Harnessing Digital Trade for SMEs” will be held in Viet Nam. The Workshop will cover issues such as the overview of digital trade, opportunities and challenges for SMEs, issues in legal and implementation aspects, sharing experiences, best practices and recommendations in promoting digital trade for SMEs, etc.

a)  The Workshop report will be made and circulated to all speakers and participants as well as delivered to SMEWG and other relevant sub for further discussion, endorsement and follow up. The report will brief views and exchanges made during the 2 day workshop and recommendations on how to harness digital trade for SMEs.

b)  The list of all speakers, guests and participants will be shared to maintain the networking for further cooperation in the future. 

Outcomes: After the Workshop, the participants who are governments’ officials, SMEs, researchers, experts involved in some aspects (policy making, implementation, doing business, research, etc.,) will  have in-depth knowledge to exchange what they have learnt from the Workshop.  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. 

This project will provide inputs to SMEWG, policy makers, researchers, experts among APEC member economies in understanding further digital trade and what SME’s needs to harness digital trade. The Workshop’s outcomes will serve as inputs for the policy makers or reference for business people to apply more in their work related to digital trade. 

To measure the outcomes of the project, all the funded APEC participants from APEC economies will be requested to provide a brief information on the status of digital trade in their own economy in general, SME’s involvement in digital trade with their advantages and disadvantages in particular. After the workshop, apart from the evaluation form, participants will be requested to provide some recommendations on how to promote digital trade for SMEs in their own economy. The information will be collected and shared among all participants for reference for their future recommendations in this field in economies. 

Beneficiaries: The project targets:

1) governments’ officials, who are involved in policy making and implementation in the area of internet and digital trade. Those might include officials from the E-commerce Agency, Ministry of Information, Science and Technology, Planning and Investment. Senior officials (at level heads of divisions or departments) will be prioritized to attend the workshop; and

2) SMEs; and SMEs that work, involved or have much experiences in digital trade, digital transformation.  Apart from being the participants to learn experiences and best practices, the agenda will also include a session to present views from perspectives of SMEs and their recommendations to harness their own participation in digital trade.

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.

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 e-commerce associations, research centers, etc. to attract the attention to the event to encourage people to visit the documents online.

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 one 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 the APEC website.

The target audience includes those who are interested in, involved directly or indirectly in e-commerce, digital trade, SMEs including governments’ officials, representatives from business and business associations. 

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. 

Reporting, and other written outputs associated with this project, which will be publically available, must be presented to the Secretariat in a standard of English which requires no further copy-editing. The [Project Final Report] [etc], which will be distributed and published as an APEC publication, must be prepared in accordance with the Guidebook on APEC Projects, the APEC Publication Guidelines and the APEC Logo Guidelines. Where contracted labour is used to produce reports or other written outputs, contractor terms of reference must state that all will be presented in a level of English fit for publication and require no further copy-editing by the APEC Secretariat. In this case, the report will be made, edited, revised and proofread by the consultant.

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 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.  If possible, it will target to reach at least 30% of female participation for each category of speakers and participants in this project if possible and efficient.

So as to have data on gender participation, the evaluation form will collect information on gender to see if the gender objectives are met and to serve as reference for APEC future projects.

Work Plan

Time

Tasks

Deliverables

Jul – Aug 2018

Improve and have the PP approved

Final PP.

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-sponsors 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 GI. Circulate the invitation to CTI and other relevant sub for a

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

Apr – May –

Jun 2019

the drafting, endorsement and submission of the Workshop Report and all supporting documents

Workshop Report

 Aug 2019

Within 2 months from project end date, submit the Completion Report to the APEC Secretariat

Completion Report and all supporting documents

6 to 12 months after the project end date

Follow up. 6 to 12 months after project end date: participation in the Long Term Evaluation of APEC Projects conducted by the Secretariat, as required by all APEC funded 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 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, academic or economic experts who have good background and experiences in the field. To ensure the results, invitations will be sent through different fora in APEC including CTI 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.

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. 

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. 

After the workshop, the PO will instruct the consultant to conduct the post workshop evaluation to assess whether the objectives are met, and whether any changes to individual economy are made.

Linkages

SMEWG will be the group which oversees this Project and will be responsible for disseminating information about the Workshop to APEC member economies. The outcomes of the Workshop will be submitted to SMEs for consideration and further action.

ECSG and CTI will also be consulted closely during the development and implementation of this project, especially in developing the agenda for the Workshop to make sure that the agenda will cover and meet the Workshop’s objectives and expectations as well as ECSG’s and CTI’s mandate.  

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 digital age and SMEs account for more than 95% of enterprises in the APEC region, which would contribute to the region’s growth and development if harnessing digital trade for SMEs is properly addressed.

Sustainability

Following the workshop, participants are expected to have a deep understanding of digital trade’s opportunities and challenges as well as SMEs’ participation, which will contribute to SMEs’ and sustainable economic growth in the region. 

To make sure that the workshop meets its objectives, the organizer will report to and seek approval from SMEWG 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. It is expected that the PO will report the outcomes of the project in the nearest SMEWG meetings and present their proposal/initiative in the next meeting. 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

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

The Project Overseer seeks APEC funding to support 8 speakers in total for the 2-day Workshop. 

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.

Waiver is sought to invite 8 speaker to the Workshop

PO requests for funding of 8 speakers (2) for both days. In order to make this project a success, the PO strongly believes that experts from public and academic sectors should be invited to share their studies’ outputs and experiences. Their inputs will still be required during the last session that will include discussions of the participating APEC economies on recommendations of the Workshop to the EWG.

The number of speakers if reaches 8 will be discussed and decided by the PD based on case by case.  The PO will provide justifications for the PD’s decision.

The maximum of 8 is just applied for speakers who seek honorarium. For those who just need travel funding (incl. per diem), the maximum is still 6.

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?

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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