Project Title

APEC Capacity Building Workshop on RTA/FTA Negotiation Skills on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 

Project Year

2018   

Project Number

CTI 10 2018A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

CTI 10 2018A 

Project Title

APEC Capacity Building Workshop on RTA/FTA Negotiation Skills on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 

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 2 

APEC Funding

100,000 

Co-funding Amount

30,585 

Total Project Value

130,585 

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

Canada; Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Russia; Chinese Taipei 

Expected Start Date

01/11/2018 

Expected Completion Date

30/11/2019 

Project Proponent Name 1

Pham Quynh Mai 

Job Title 1

Deputy Director General 

Organization 1

Multilateral Trade Policy Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade 

Postal Address 1

54 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ha Noi, Viet Nam 

Telephone 1

(84-24) 22205522 

Fax 1

(84-24) 22202525 

Email 1

maipq@moit.gov.vn; patbeo81@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

Pham Quynh Mai 

Project Summary

This project proposed to hold a 2-day APEC Capacity Building Workshop on RTA/FTA Negotiation Skills on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which will be held in Viet Nam in 2019. The project is targeted to train mid-level and junior government officials, who are responsible for RTAs/FTAs coordination, negotiation and implementation on SMEs.

The main objectives of this project are to:

·  Increased capacity of negotiators, policymakers, and regulators with practical relevance, to participate in negotiations on and implementation of SME-related chapters;

·  Share best practices and experiences in preparing for, conducting of negotiations and implementation of the final outcomes; and

·  Provide an opportunity of networking among SME negotiators, policy-makers and regulators.

Relevance

Relevance – Region: The world has seen the proliferation of regional and free trade agreements (RTAs and FTAs). According to statistics of the World Trade Organization, as of January 2018, 284 RTAs were in force. As of June 2016, all WTO members now have an RTA in force.

In November 2014, APEC Economic Leaders encouraged economies “to design and conduct capacity building programs for specific sectors as lead economies.”  APEC Ministers “welcomed the decision to approach capacity building activities with strategic foresight by undertaking multi-year projects, such as supporting APEC’s work to strengthen and deepen regional economic integration, and facilitating the realization of FTAAP.” In the meantime, the APEC Capacity Building Needs Surveys[1] revealed that one of important areas that economies are interested in building and enhancing negotiation skills is small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

In the meantime, APEC has not conducted any workshop specifically aimed at building and enhancing FTA negotiation skills for personnel in SMEs. This proposal, therefore, would address the capacity needs of APEC economies through a capacity building workshop to equip negotiators with relevant information, references, and preparation skills to participate in SME-related negotiations and maximise gains.

The proposed project, therefore, is targeted to train mid-level and junior government officials, who are responsible for RTA/FTA coordination, negotiation and implementation on SMEs. Mid-level and junior government officials are important targets of this project since they are potentials or already involved in SMEs-related RTA/FTA coordination, negotiation and implementation however they may be lack of certain skills, knowledge or experience to effectively coordinate, negotiate and implement RTAs/FTAs[2].

It is expected that the trained officials will better understand and be equipped with negotiation skills through simulation exercises and sharing of experiences from invited speakers and participants to the Capacity Building Workshop. Thus, to some extent, the project will help to narrow the gaps in RTA/FTA capacity among APEC member economies.

The project also contributes to the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs as it helps MSMEs to benefit from free trade and investment through actual and specific commitments on SMEs in RTAs/FTAs.

Last but not least, this capacity building project is in among the sectors that are listed in the 3rd REI Capacity Building Needs Initiative, which was endorsed in November 2017.

Relevance – Eligibility: As eligible for the FTAAP & GVCs Sub-Fund, the project must contribute to the realization of FTAAP by supporting at least one of the following 4 initiatives which are considered as potential building blocks of the FTAAP. One of the 4 initiatives is the continuity of the capacity building activities in pursuit of the FTAAP under the Action Plan Framework of the CBNI. This project is eligible for the FTAAP and GVC Sub-fund as it is among the sectors that are listed in the 3rd REI Capacity Building Needs Initiative, which was endorsed in November 2017.

Relevance – Capacity Building: The proposed project will help to enable participants from member economies - particularly developing economies - to obtain, share, strengthen, maintain and develop knowledge, abilities and skills regarding RTAs/FTAs negotiations. The Workshop will include presentations on the trend of including SME Chapter or SME texts in RTAs/FTAs, the implementation of these text/ chapter etc. so participants will get information and knowledge on SME Chapter or SME texts in RTAs/FTAs. In addition, the Workshop will include 1-2 simulation exercise(s) where participants have a chance to adapt what they learn from the Workshop.



[1] The survey on “APEC Capacity Building Needs Initiative” was prepared and led by Korea with the participation of APEC member economies under APEC Committee on Trade and Investment in the 4th quarter of 2017. The survey is designed to assess various aspects of the workshops that have been held so far during Phase II of the CBNI and to consult with member economies on how to better improve the CBNI in the future. The survey was the basis for developing the Action Plan Framework for the 3rd REI Capacity Building Needs Initiative.

[2] Project proponent does not intend to invite senior officials as participant since they already possess the skills, knowledge and experiences on SMEs-related issues in RTAs/FTAs.

Objectives

1) Increased capacity of negotiators, policymakers, and regulators with practical relevance, to participate in negotiations on and in the implementation of SME-related chapters;

2) Share best practices and experiences in preparing for negotiations; and

3) Provide an opportunity of networking among SME negotiators, policy-makers and regulators[1].



[1] SME Chapter/texts in RTAs/FTAs is quite new so the network among SME negotiators, policy-makers and regulators might not be formulated before.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC:  This project is designed to put into action APEC Ministers’ instructions to build capacity to strengthen and deepen regional economic integration by building and enhancing capacities of economies’ human resources in RTA/FTA negotiations. This project is also in line with APEC Ministers’ encouragement in 2017 as APEC Ministers stated that they looked “forward to the implementation of the Action Plan Framework for the 3rd REI Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI)”.

Alignment – Forum: The proposed project is in line with the Action Plan Framework for the 3rd REI Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI) which was endorsed at 2017 Annual Ministerial Meeting. The Framework is an important pillar under CTI 2018 work.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs:

Output

Description

Workshop

A 2-day Workshop to be held in Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam in the 4th quarter of 2018. Speakers with experience in negotiation SME chapter/texts in RTAs/FTAs or in implementing SME-related policies will be invited to the Workshop to share knowledge and experiences.

Participants from the Workshop will be mid-level and junior government officials, who are responsible for RTA/FTA coordination, negotiation and implementation from developing economies since SME chapter/texts in RTAs/FTAs is a relatively new topic.

Previously, Viet Nam conducted several capacity building workshops on RTA/FTA negotiation skills in areas such as intellectual property, environment, SPS, government procurement etc. The Workshop will include presentations on the trend of including SME Chapter or SME texts in RTAs/FTAs, the implementation of these text/ chapter etc. There will also be 1-2 simulation exercise where participants can be familiarized with preparing and analyzing SME-related texts in RTA/FTA negotiations.

Summary report

A summary report (ranging from 5 to 15 pages) with outcomes and recommendations from the Workshop will be presented to CTI. Such report will be composed of the following, but not limited to, sections: introduction of the project; briefings of the presentations made at the Workshop, including best practices (if any); briefings on discussions at the Workshop; suggested recommendations made by Workshop attendants.

Recommendations

Participants at the Workshop will provide recommendations for APEC on next steps.

The recommendations will be a part of the summary report and will provide suggestions on next steps which are further, suggested activities/ initiatives/ action plans at domestic or APEC level to continue and further this capacity building activity.

Post-Workshop evaluation

An evaluation form will be prepared and distributed to all participants as well as the speakers, moderators and experts to assess the effectiveness of the Workshop 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 summary report, which will be submitted to the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment for consideration.

Outcomes: 

-   Based on the Workshop’s presentations, discussions and recommendations, the Organizers hope that Workshop participants can enhance their SME-related negotiation (negotiations on SME Chapter or SME-related texts in RTAs/FTAs). The Workshop will include 1 (or 2) simulation exercise(s) to directly apply the negotiation principles they have gained into practice. After the Workshop, participants are expected to enhance their SME-related negotiation capacities.

-   Another expected outcome of the Workshop is participants will be able to (i) develop texts related to SMEs in an FTA, (ii) analyze proposal of the other party.

-   Organizers also expected that participants will apply knowledge (information, experience etc) on SME Chapter or SME-related texts in RTAs/FTAs from the Workshop to their future work and negotiations.

-   Another outcome may be the conduction of similar Workshops back in their home economies. In order to do this, participants are encouraged to use Workshop material as resources or reference when holding similar Workshops in the future. 

Beneficiaries: The intended beneficiaries of this project are: Mid-level and junior government officials, who are responsible for RTA/FTA coordination, negotiation and implementation from developing economies will be the main beneficiaries of this project. Speakers (including speakers from academic sector or representatives from international organizations such as WTO, ASEAN) with experience in negotiation SME chapter/texts in RTAs/FTAs or in implementing SME-related policies will be invited to the Workshop to share knowledge and experiences.

For local participants, since there have been a number of untrained officials from Vietnamese agencies (Ministry of Planning and Investment, Department of Enterprise Development, Government’s Office, etc), organizers will send invitations to these agencies to request them to send 4-5 junior/mid-level officials/each agency to the Workshop.

Once coming back from this Workshop, participants may disseminate information through materials and summary report from this event to other audiences in their economies (The project materials may be used at similar capacity building activities in those economies; the summary report will help secondary participants know what happened in previous capacity building activity as well as learn about recommendations afterwards). Such audience can be named as beneficiaries from this project.

Dissemination

Hard copies (presentations of the Workshop) will be provided to all the Workshop’s participants. Electronic publication (presentations of the Workshop and project’s summary report) will also be sent to Workshop speakers and participants to disseminate the Workshop’s documents widely.  APEC’s official website (APEC Meeting Documentation Database) will be the main one to upload the documents (project’s summary report). Organizers will encourage participants to circulate documents domestically to assure effectiveness in dissemination. A summary report of the Workshop will also be prepared and submitted to CTI. It will be published on APEC Publications website.

No intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

This proposal is relevant to two of the five pillars that APEC have identified by APEC for promoting women’s economic empowerment, including Leadership, Voice and Agency; and Skills, Capacity Building. In previous Capacity Building Workshops on RTA/FTA Negotiation Skills that Viet Nam held, female accounted for from 45% to 50% of total speakers and participants. 

Women will be directly and actively involved in the project. Project proponents of this Workshop are women. The Workshop organizers will be careful to include women speakers and participants in the Workshop.  The organizers will encourage women to be involved during the preparatory stage and actual activity. Invitations sent to CTI representatives will take due consideration of gender concerns by encouraging the suggestion and nomination of female speakers and participants. 

In addition, the project proponents will ensure that the evaluation forms to be distributed at the end of the Workshop will include information on gender for disaggregating of data for project assessment and will help in evaluation of specific responses of women and men. 

Organizers set the target of 40% of Workshop participants will be female. The organizers commit to setting a target of 2 female speakers.  If this is not possible, it will be noted in the Summary Report and a follow up action identified to look at why there is a shortage of qualified women in this area.

Work Plan

Timeline

Actions

Deliverables

November 2018

BMC approval

December 2018 – March 2019

Contracting the consultant.

Contract to be signed with the consultant

March – April 2019

Draft the Workshop agenda and general information note, including consulting with previous POs and speakers, reviewing survey results from previous workshops and factoring this information into this Workshop planning and agenda.

The Workshop location will be determined and finalized.

Invite and secure speakers for the Workshop, from international organizations (WTO, ASEAN etc), research institutes and APEC economies.

General Information note, including draft agenda;

Secured speakers

May – June 2019

Promotion and dissemination of information on the Workshop.

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 CTI focal points for nominating Workshop participants).

Preparation work by the Organizing Committee (logistic and documentation)

Invited participants

July 2019

Implementation of the 2-day Workshop in Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam

Workshop

August - September 2019

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

Draft Summary Report

September – October 2019

CTI to comment on the draft Summary Report;

Finalize Summary Report

Summary Report

Within 2 months from project end date

Drafting, endorsement and submission of the Completion Report and all supporting documents to the Secretariat

Completion report

6 to 12 months after project end date

Participation in the Long Term Evaluation of APEC Projects conducted by the Secretariat

Evaluation forms

Risks

Risks associated with the Workshop will be minimal. One of the risks is ensuring the selection of good speakers in order to make the most of the Workshop. The Organizers will work with the co-sponsor economies and relevant international organizations and institutions to get recommendations of potential speakers. There may be last-minute speaker cancellations. That risk will be managed by identifying possible back-up speakers in advance of the event.

Another risk is delay of nomination from APEC economies. Organizers will manage such risk by working with other economies to ensure relevant candidates are selected for participation and will follow the responses to invitation. Outreach to be conducted when needed to receive nominations from non-responding economies.

Given the above tendency, the project risk is not having the desired number of funded participants. Organizers will work closely with each travel eligible economy to urge nominations of participants to attend the Workshop. Another option is the organizers will work with relevant Ministries at APEC economies in charge of SMEs as well as Viet Nam Trade Office in APEC economies to get support in having travel eligible participants.

A risk identified is not getting the right speakers.  To further mitigate this risk the PO engages with the POs from previous projects and co-sponsor economies in this area to help identity ideal speakers.

Finally, a risk could be outcomes of the Workshop may not be as fruitful and productive as expected. To mitigate this risk, the consultant will work closely with PO and co-sponsor economies to design the draft agenda and selecting appropriate speakers.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Workshop’s Organizers will work closely and regularly with co-sponsor economies in determining the content of the agenda, selection of speakers, moderators, experts and participants for the Workshop. The project will adhere strictly to APEC project implementation procedures. Organizers hope that 80 participants will attend the Workshop.

Estimated indicators: Number of speakers/ participants, number of participating economies and diversification of speakers/ participants.

An evaluation form will be prepared and distributed to all participants as well as the speakers, moderators and experts to assess the effectiveness of the Workshop 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 summary report, which will be submitted to the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment for consideration.

Estimated indicators: Score of satisfaction on substance, speakers, logistic arrangements, impacts etc. in the questionnaires responded from participants.

The summary report and Workshop documents will be made available to Workshop participants and the APEC Secretariat. The draft summary report on the outcome of the Workshop will be sent to APEC Secretariat for review before finalization.

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

Linkages

Engagement: During implementation process, information will be disseminated to other relevant fora (SMEWG) to encourage their participation in the Workshop. Organizers will work closely with relevant regional and international organizations (WTO, ASEAN) to avoid duplications with previous activities.

Previous work: APEC has not held any activities on this topic. Previously, APEC has done a number of capacity building activities on specific topics of negotiations, such as on competition policy, intellectual property, labor, TBT, SPS, e-commerce, services etc. but none of those activities focused on SME-related chapter/ provisions.

APEC’s comparative advantage: As mentioned above, APEC is the best source of funding for this project because APEC Leaders insisted that “APEC has an important role to play in coordinating information sharing, transparency, and capacity building...” and “agreed to ...increase the capacity of APEC economies to engage in substantive negotiations.” Furthermore, APEC Ministers “encouraged officials to advance the Regional Economic Integration Capacity-Building Needs Initiative Action Plan Framework as a key delivery mechanism for the technical assistance needed to one day make the FTAAP a reality.”

Sustainability

This project is one of the series of capacity-building activities supported under the CBNI approach, with view to building and enhancing capacities of developing economies in the APEC region, to enhance their FTA negotiation skills. The 3rd CBNI Action Plan Framework is consisted of a number of areas, whereas SME is one of the main interests. 

The Workshop will include one Session for speakers and participants to provide recommendations on next steps/topics that APEC should take. In previous projects, these Sessions were very important as they paved the ways for furthering activities that APEC can do to build and enhance negotiation skills for negotiators from developing economies. After the Capacity Building Workshop takes place, the Project Organizers will work with consultant to develop recommendations for concrete steps to further advance the REI CBNI Action Plan Framework.  These recommendations will be incorporated in the Summary Report, which will be later sent to the CTI. CTI will consider and if possible, endorse the recommendations as well as the follow-up activities developed from the Capacity Building Workshop.

On the other hand, Viet Nam and co-sponsor economies will work with Korea, the leading economy in the REI CBNI Action Plan Framework to incorporate the Project’s outputs and recommendations into the Report of the REI CBNI Action Plan Framework. Further evaluation and comments on this Framework might be given upon consideration of the CTI and interested parties. Korea, Viet Nam and other economies in the 3rd REI CBNI Action Plan Framework might also suggest next steps of the Project and/or the Framework to the CTI for comments and approval.

Project Overseers

1.     Name: Ms Pham Quynh Mai

Organisation: Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam

Address: 54 Hai Ba Trung street, Ha Noi city, Viet Nam

Tel: +84-24-222-055-22

Fax: +84-24-222-025-25

E-mail: maipq@moit.gov.vn

Ms. Pham Quynh Mai got her Master Degree in the University of Sussex, the United Kingdom. She was the Vice Chair of the CTI in 2006. Since 2018, she has been the Senior Official of Viet Nam for APEC.

2.     Name: Ms Vu Lien Huong

Organisation: Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam

Address: 54 Hai Ba Trung street, Ha Noi city, Viet Nam

Tel: +84-24-222-054-19

Fax: +84-24-222-025-25

E-mail: huongvl@moit.gov.vn and patbeo81@gmail.com

Ms Vu Lien Huong got her Master Degree in the University of Leeds, the United Kingdom. Since 2003, she has been actively engaged in APEC cooperation activities, including those under the Committee on Trade and Investment, SOM supervision, SCE and APEC Ministerial processes etc. She is the Representative of Viet Nam in CTI.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

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

Secretaries: will assist consultant to organize the Workshop (substance and paperwork) (400 hours total), self-fund.

Short-term staffs (clerks): will handle logistic arrangements for the organization of the Workshop (400 hours total), self-fund.

Waivers

Waiver

Justification

Waiver for advance payment

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

Waiver to fund governmental officials from non-travel eligible member economies, non-APEC members and representatives of international organizations as speakers for airfare and per diem

Most of the time, even non-travel eligible member economies government officials are subject to budgetary constraints as such, withdrawal of commitment from the project is unavoidable. PO will seek for CTI’s approval in case of non-member participants/speakers attending the Workshop.

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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