Project Title

APEC Capacity Building Workshop on WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises 

Project Year

2018   

Project Number

SME 04 2018 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

SME 04 2018 

Project Title

APEC Capacity Building Workshop on WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

General Project Account 

Sub-fund

None 

Project Year

2018 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

110,000 

Co-funding Amount

28,585 

Total Project Value

138,585 

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

Chile; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Malaysia; Mexico; Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei 

Expected Start Date

01/11/2018 

Expected Completion Date

31/09/2019 

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) 222205522 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

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

A major milestone for the global trading system was reached on 22 February 2017 when the first multilateral deal concluded in the 21 year history of the World Trade Organization (WTO) – the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) - entered into force. The TFA seeks to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders, therefore, reduce the time need to import/export goods. Implementing the TFA is also expected to help new firms export for the first time.

However, a number of MSMEs are not fully aware of this important agreement and its benefits. Also, a question for policy makers is how to efficiently integrate the TFA in SME development policies. In this context, Viet Nam propose to hold a 2-day APEC Capacity Building Workshop on WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Viet Nam in 2019 to (i) increase knowledge of MSMEs and experts from MSME associations and supporting organizations on the TFA, (ii) share experience and discuss on how to efficiently integrate the TFA in SME development policies, (iii) discuss on ways that MSMEs can benefit from the TFA.

Relevance

Relevance – Region: A major milestone for the global trading system was reached on 22 February 2017 when the first multilateral deal concluded in the 21 year history of the World Trade Organization (WTO) – the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) - entered into force. The TFA seeks to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders. Therefore, it is believed that the TFA’s entry into force launches a new phase for trade facilitation reforms all over the world and creates a significant boost for commerce and the multilateral trading system as a whole. According to the WTO, the TFA is also likely to reduce the time needed to import goods by over a day and a half and to export goods by almost two days, representing a reduction of 47 per cent and 91 per cent respectively over the current average[1].

Implementing the TFA is also expected to help new firms export for the first time by easing the time and costs burdens[2]. Moreover, according to the WTO study, once the TFA is fully implemented, developing economies are predicted to increase the number of new products exports by 20-35 per cent.

TFA means a lot to developing economies since it includes provisions on special and differential treatment for least developed and developing members of WTO, including technical assistances for these WTO members to implement the Agreement. TFA also contributes to reducing technical and non-tariff barriers (which are popular in developed economies) so as goods from developing economies will be exported easier.

APEC continues to pledge its support to the Multilateral Trading System through the implementation of the TFA. APEC is contributing towards the implementation of the TFA which will push the momentum for Trade Facilitation and reducing trade costs across for both developed and developing economies.

Despite this great news, a number of MSMEs are not fully aware of this important agreement and its benefits. Also, a question for policy makers is how to efficiently integrate the TFA in SME development policies[3]. In this context, Viet Nam propose to hold a 2-day APEC Capacity Building Workshop on WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to (i) increase knowledge of MSMEs and experts from MSME associations and supporting organizations on the TFA, (ii) share experience and discuss on how to efficiently integrate the TFA in SME development policies, (iii) discuss on ways that MSMEs can benefit from the TFA. 

Relevance – Eligibility: One of GPA funding priorities for 2018 is “strengthening MSMEs’ Competitiveness and Innovation in the Digital Age”. With equipped information on the TFA, its benefits and experiences on how to efficiently integrate the TFA in SME development policies, this project definitely will contribute to strengthen MSMEs’ competitiveness.

Relevance – Capacity Building: SMEs play an important role in economic activities in all APEC developing economies. They account for approximately 99% of all APEC developing economies’ businesses and employ between 50 and 97 per cent of employment in many economies. In addition, the contribution of SMEs to GDP is generally significant, about 30-60 per cent, and the contribution of SMEs to GDP is generally 19-31 per cent. They are also the largest source of domestic employment across all economic sectors. The SME sector also provides opportunities for women and youth to participate in the economic development.

Since this project is expected to equip MSMEs with information on WTO TFA (the Agreement, ratifications of WTO members, implementations of WTO members, opportunities and challenges, how the TFA benefits SMEs etc.), it will help to foster capacity of SMEs in developing economies as well as their internationalization.


[3] SME development policies are policies (financing, tax system, human resource development, consultancy, business support, internationalization, labor, networking etc.) to develop SMEs.

Objectives

1) To increase knowledge of MSMEs and experts from MSME associations and supporting organizations on the TFA (the Agreement, ratifications of WTO members, implementations of WTO members, opportunities and challenges, how the TFA benefits SMEs etc.);

2) To share experience from speakers and among participants, and discuss on how to integrate the TFA in SME development policies; and

3) Network MSMEs and experts from MSME associations and supporting organizations.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC:  In the 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration, it is said “We recognize the significance of enabling the full participation of all sectors and segments of our society, especially...micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to achieving inclusive growth. We underscore the importance of empowering them with the ability to contribute to and benefit from future growth.”  In addition, APEC Leaders also reiterated “the significance of the participation of MSMEs in global commerce to inclusive growth and will take action to facilitate such participation. We recognize that internationally-oriented MSMEs can make substantial contributions to poverty reduction through employment creation, productivity improvements, and economies of scale.”

In 2016 APEC Economic Leaders emphasized that “Strengthening of MSMEs will imply concrete progress in increasing their innovation capacities and competitiveness, including intellectual property rights commercialization, work towards guaranteeing access to financial means and capacity building, enhancing their participation in the internet and digital economy and through electronic commerce, reducing the technological gap, strengthening ethical business practices to support MSMEs’ growth and cross border trade, progressively inducing a shift into a more sustainable, eco-friendly and green production, and supporting their internationalization including through the means of ICT.”

Trade facilitation has been a longstanding item on the agenda of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). APEC defines trade facilitation in terms of reducing trade transaction costs, as stated in the Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP) Initiative. APEC members have also fully supported the implementation of WTO TFA – with an implementation rate of 92.6 per cent based on notifications to the WTO. In addition, as single window is one of the key initiatives under APEC, member economies have started to explore the issue of its International Interoperability.

This project will help to implement Leaders’ instructions as it will contribute to the long-term enhancement of capacities of to reap benefits from the TFA.

Alignment – Forum: This project is in line with the 2017-2020 SMEWG Strategic Plan as in the Plan, one of four priority areas is “market access for SMEs” with the objectives to promote integration of SMEs into global value chains and strengthen SMEs’ export capabilities and capacity for internationalization. It is apparent that building capacity on the TFA for MSMEs will contribute to above-mentioned objectives.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: 

Output

Description

Workshop

A 2-day Workshop held in Viet Nam in June 2019.

Discussions topics for the Workshop may include the TFA, ratifications of WTO members, implementation of WTO members, opportunities and challenges, how the TFA benefits SMEs etc.

The Workshop will gather various stakeholders such as government officials, experts from ABAC, academia, the private sector, business associations, and international organizations (WTO, WCO, OECD etc.).

Speakers at the Workshop should possess profound knowledge on the TFA, its implementation in one or some economies or the integration of the TFA into SME development policies.

Intended participants should be SMEs, SME association, SME policy-makers/ regulators as the purpose of this project is to build capacity on the TFA for SMEs.

Summary report

A summary report (ranging from 5 to 15 pages) with outcomes and recommendations from the Workshop will be presented to SMEWG. 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 and the project consultant.

This Report be published and uploaded onto the APEC Publication website.

Recommendations

Participants at the Workshop will provide recommendations for APEC on next steps through 2019 and beyond. Especially, Workshop participants will propose future activities with the link of SMEWG’s work and plans.

Recommendations will be a part of the Summary report.

Networking opportunities

The workshop will promote networking among participants; experts and other stakeholders from public and private sectors. 

Outcomes: The Workshop is an important activity for various stakeholders such as government officials (who has expertise in MSME or trade facilitation), experts from academia, the private sector, business associations, and international organizations (WTO, OECD, World Customs Organization etc.), among others, to understand and discuss about the TFA, its implementation, costs and benefits for the business community, ways to integrate the TFA into SME development policies etc.

The Workshop also provides opportunities for the participants to create a network among APEC economies and experts, which has a potential to provide inputs to and facilitate future discussions. The Workshop is expected to lead to a strengthened capability of participants get knowledge and information absorbed from the Workshop on the TFA. After the Workshop, with knowledge and information absorbed from the Workshop, in short-medium and long terms, participants will be able to (i) know how to utilize and benefit from the TFA, (ii) suggest policies to use TFA to develop SMEs, (iii) request technical assistance for developing economies to implement the TFA effectively etc.

During the Workshop, speakers and participants will have 1 Session to suggest recommendations. In the Workshop evaluation form, there will also be a Session for recommendations. Recommendations from the Workshop and from the evaluation form will be included in the summary report, which will be circulated to all Workshop speakers, participants and SMEWG. These recommendations will include followed up or additional APEC activities/ initiatives that APEC should have. This is a resource for APEC economies to consider in furthering capacity building on TFA for MSMEs at economy’s or APEC’s level. 

Beneficiaries: The direct beneficiaries of the project are MSMEs and MSME associations, as they are the targeted audience of this Workshop. Public sector representatives (especially in the area of trade facilitation) can also benefit from understanding the situation, opportunities and possible challenges that the TFA brings and therefore may use such information as background to work policy and regulatory making.

Regarding Workshop participation, the Organizers will encourage participants from SME associations or a typical MSME in an economy that have experience in trade facilitation since these participants will either be able to disseminate information from the Workshop to similar events in their home economies or able to provide pragmatic experience during Q&A (questions and answers) at the Workshop. Such participants will be selected and nominated through APEC economies’ SMEWG focal points.

Dissemination

Hard copies (presentations of the Workshop) will be provided to all the Workshop's participants.  Electronic publication (presentations of the Workshop and summary report) will also be sent to Workshop speakers and participants to disseminate the Workshop's documents widely.  APEC's official website will be the main one to upload the documents (summary report).  Organisers 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 SMEWG. The Summary Report will be published and uploaded onto the APEC Publication website.

No intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

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 SMEWG 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 will try to invite 2 female speakers/moderators to the Workshop and set the target of 40% of Workshop participants will be female.

Work Plan

Timeline

Actions

Deliverables

January – March 2019

Securing and contracting a consultant for the project

Sign contract with the consultant

March – May 2019

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

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

The Workshop location will be determined and finalized.

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

Draft Workshop agenda;

Confirmed venue;

Confirmed speakers and participants

April – May 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 SMEWG focal points for nominating Workshop participants).

Preparation work by the Organizing Committee (logistic and documentation)

Ex-ante survey on knowledge of participants on the TFA

General Information note;

Confirmed participants;

Replies from participants on Ex-ante survey

June 2019

Implementation of the 2-day Workshop.

At the end of the Workshop, evaluate the Workshop results

Workshop;

Prepare and collect evaluation forms

July – August 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 SMEWG.

SMEWG to endorse the Summary Report

Analyze evaluation forms;

Summary report and all supporting documents

Endorse Summary report by SMEWG

Within 2 months from project end date

The 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

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. If the participations from economies are lower than expected, organizers will try to work with participants from previous SME-related events to encourage participation. Project overseers may also work with Viet Nam Trade Offices in APEC member economies and ask them to help inviting participants from these economies.

A possible risk is that project does not achieve all the proposed objectives. To mitigate this risk, organizers will try to secure speakers with profound expertise and stimulate robust discussions at the Workshop on topics towards achieving the objectives.

There may be a risk that economies not applying knowledge learned or adopting recommendations from the project. To mitigate this risk, project overseers will follow up engagement with project participants to ensure they feel equipped, have information they required to assist them in applying knowledge learned or adopting recommendations from the project.

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

One of the objectives of the project is “To increase knowledge of MSMEs and experts from MSME associations and supporting organizations on the TFA”. Organizers will prepare a survey to be sent to participants before the event. 

Estimated indicators: this can be evaluated through responding to questions provided in the evaluation forms circulated at the end of the Workshop. 

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, including the timeline of actions. Organizers hope that 100 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 summary report, which will be submitted to the APEC SME Working Group for consideration. 

Estimated indicators: Score of satisfaction on substance, speakers, logistic arrangements, impacts etc. in the questionnaires responded from participants. Organizers expected that at least 10 recommendations will be made at this Workshop. 

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 report; (ii) Dissemination of draft and final summary report to participants and SMEWG

Linkages

The Organizers will seek support from APEC economies and other international organizations such as WTO, World Customs Organization, etc., for developing the agenda, inviting right speakers, experts and participants to contribute most to the Workshop. Their involvement will help cross fora collaboration more efficiently, avoid duplication as well as promote work effectively through close consultation, exchanges and cooperation.

Previous work: APEC has conducted some projects on TFA such as Workshop on Enhancement of Stakeholder Engagement in the Implementation of the TFA of the WTO (CTI 01 2017A), Best Practices on Critical Issues in the Asia-Pacific Region for the Implementation of the WTO TFA (CTI 12 2015A), Trade Policy Dialogue on the TFA, Category B and C Commitments and tracking of economies’ progress.

through a Table on APEC Economies’ Progress in Implementing the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, etc. However, there has not been any specific activity targeted at capacity building for MSMEs on TFA.

APEC’s comparative advantage: APEC is the best source of funding for this project because APEC has been working actively on trade facilitation as well as MSMEs development. The results of the Workshop will contribute to the overall APEC work.

Sustainability

This project is one of important capacity-building activities to build and enhance capacities of MSMEs on TFA -  especially those from developing economies.

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 capacities for MSMEs from developing economies.

APEC economies can take in recommendations and spread the experiences and lessons in a wider range. Experts can make use of results or outcomes of this project in expected future projects. Participants can create cooperative network or means of future exchange of ideas and discussions. Possible future actions to be reflected in the summary report will be discussed at SMEWG, in close consultations with other related APEC sub-fora such as CTI.

This contact list of a network including Workshop’s speakers and participants will be compiled and circulated at SMEWG. The summary report will suggest next steps based on the discussions of the Workshop. Such summary report will be submitted to SMEWG.

Project Overseers

Ms Pham Quynh Mai
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Viet Nam
Email: maipq@moit.gov.vn

Ms. Pham Quynh Mai got her Masters 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.

Ms Vu Lien Huong
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Viet Nam
Email: 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 assist in finding location and developing General Information note of the Workshop; work in drafting, revising and finalizing agenda; take notes of presentations and discussions during the Workshop; assist in executing the 2-day Workshop and holding possible side-line event; develop and finalize the summary 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 (600 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 SMEWG’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

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