Project Title

Capacity Building Workshop on Improving the Utilisation of APEC Business Travel Card 

Project Year

2020   

Project Number

BMG 01 2020A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

BMG 01 2020A 

Project Title

Capacity Building Workshop on Improving the Utilisation of APEC Business Travel Card 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Connectivity 

Project Year

2020 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

38,094 

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

38,094 

Sponsoring Forum

Business Mobility Group (BMG) 

Topics

Mobility of Business People 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Indonesia 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Chile; China; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Viet Nam 

Expected Start Date

01/02/2021 

Expected Completion Date

28/02/2022 

Project Proponent Name 1

Satrio Nugroho 

Job Title 1

Assistant Deputy Director 

Organization 1

Directorate of APEC and International Organisation Negotiations, Directorate General International Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Trade 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

(62-21) 3858195; (62-811) 2405379 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

apecsubdit2@gmail.com; satrio_79@yahoo.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

Satrio Nugroho 

Project Summary

Since its establishment, APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) has made travel in the region easier by reducing the time and cost of visa applications and providing fast-track access at immigration lanes. However, challenges and risks involved in the ABTC application process and uneven growth of card holders among APEC members, urge participating economies to deliver better solutions to serve larger numbers of clients.

A capacity building workshop will be held virtually in September 2021 to share best practices on how to increase the number of ABTC holders, improve the efficiency and better risk management in application process. The workshop will engage participants from member economies and speakers from government, immigration agencies, businesses including ABAC and related international organizations. Speakers and participants will share current challenges on implementing ABTC scheme in each respective economy, impact on business travel experiences, and best practices for further utilization and risk management of ABTC.

Relevance

Relevance – Region: According to the BMG Report, as of 31 January 2020, there were 330,017 active ABTCs across the APEC region, a noticeable increase of 25% from 2019. However, in the last five years, there are uneven growth of active ABTC holders among APEC economies. From 2018 to 2019, Most of participating economies experience decreasing numbers of active card holders, while the rest of member economies have been succeeded in maintaining the positive growth of ABTC holders.

The data reflect that there are some issues faced by participating economies on the effort to increase the ABTC holders while also improving the efficiency and managing the risks involved in its application process. Despite 19 out of 21 economies have fully participated in ABTC, some member economies are still lag behind from other economies in terms of the ABTC implementation. Some of the factor that contribute to the gap could include the difference in domestic regulation and the level of technology, irrelevant application requirements and limitation of data used in the verification process. Moreover, in terms of processing time, currently the ABTC application process took a considerable amount of time from the applicants submit the registration documents until they finally received the ABTC. The length of ABTC processing time is another eminent issue that need to be further identified on the opportunities and challenges to improve its efficiency.

This capacity building workshop will directly enhance capacity of both policy makers and ABTC card holders including businesses from all APEC economies. It will help APEC member economies to further enhance the number of active cardholders, improve the efficiency and risk management in application process.

Relevance – Eligibility and Fund Priorities: The operation of the ABTC Scheme provides streamlined entry between APEC economies for eligible business people to conduct trade and investment related activities. Better implementation of the ABTC Scheme thereby will facilitate business mobility for the benefit of APEC economies.

The capacity building workshop meet the eligibility criteria and priorities of ASF Connectivity Sub-fund, as it supports priorities of APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025 particularly on pillar People-to-People Connectivity by exchanging views and share best practices on issues related to business travel mobility and facilitating the movement of business people across borders through ABTC.

Relevance – Capacity Building: This workshop enables member economies, particularly developing economies, to deepen knowledge and ability through experience sharing between government and business sector.

The workshop will facilitate knowledge sharing among participating economies to identify common challenges faced by businesess and policy maker, particularly on utilization of ABTC and its application process as well as sharing best practices on how to improve efficiency and effectivenes of ABTC utilization. The workshop will also explored the key challenges, future prospect and opportunities in the post pandemic era for ABTC card holders by focussing in on the opportunities in facilitating adequate environment and policy settings which can best assist for businesses to safely travel across APEC economies. In turn, policy makers and businesses will have greater exposure to the cost-effective requirements and opportunities in which ABTC can provide when leveraged. This also includes identifying future capacity building initiatives that will strengthen ABTC framework.

The workshop will also help economies to develop common approaches and trust in working cooperatively on regulatory issues related to mobility of business people across border within the APEC region, particularly to address issues arising in post COVID-19 economic setting.

The outcomes of the workshop are intended to give useful references for all participants in improving efficiency and effectiveness of ABTC application process that will increase the number of ABTC holders and mitigate the risks involve in its application process. This will help members in develop better policies and regulations to strengthen connectivity in the region as well as facilitating the trade and investment. In addition, this capacity building will also facilitate member economies to deepen the spirit of community in the Asia Pacific.

Objectives

Promoting mobility of businesspeople across region is one of APEC’s objectives to promote regional economic integration and to strengthen region’s connectivity. In accordance with the APEC’s goals, the overall objective of the project is to facilitate sharing knowledge, experiences and best-practices in implementing a more effective, efficient and low risk ABTC application process to support people-to-people connectivity pillar of APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025 through a capacity building workshop. Best practices will be compiled to develop a set of recommendation that could serve as a reference to promote increase utilization and positive growth of ABTC holders across APEC region.


Alignment

Alignment - APEC:  The initiative addresses the priorities of APEC Connectivity Blueprint 2015-2025 endorsed by Leaders in 2014 particularly in strengthening People-to-People Connectivity, to facilitate the movement of people across borders, expanding the number of holders of the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ABTC scheme. Increase utilization of ABTC will stimulate business within and between APEC economies, further facilitate trade and investment, and provide employment opportunities for peoples across the region which consistent with APEC priorities in promoting regional economic integration and connectivity and has clear ties to Malaysia 2020 Priorities on social inclusion and shared prosperity. Moreover, the project could potentially contribute to the implementation of Statement on COVID-19 by APEC Ministers’ Responsible for Trade especially on exploring ways to facilitate essential movement of people across borders, without undermining the efforts to spread of the virus.

Alignment – Forum:
 This initiative is consistent with BMG main objective on ensuring that cardholders of ABTC remain ‘low immigration risk’ and beneficial business travelers, and it is also consistent with CTI’s priority area on work program 2020 in strengthening trade facilitation and connectivity. The ABTC Scheme enables cardholders with the opportunity to more easily engage in business trade and investment activities across APEC region by removing the need to obtain entry permissions to each individual economy prior to each individual business trip.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: The project expected to deliver outputs as follows:

1) Pre-workshop Research. A brief desk research will be conducted to collect information or secondary data about the growth of active ABTC holders among APEC economies. Notable findings such as tables and/or charts will be included in the Final Report.

2)  Two days  (half-day each) workshop held virtually in September 2021, inviting experts from: (i) government such as immigration offices, Ministry of Law, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Tourism, airport authorities, and embassies; (ii) business sectors including business association, chamber of commerce and industry, ABAC; (iii) related international organizations such as International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and Airports Council International (ACI); and (iv) researchers / academics. These experts are expected to actively contribute in providing both, theoretical and practical backgrounds as well as case studies to generate an in-depth understanding on how to increase the number of ABTC holders and improve its efficiency. The Workshop will increase participants understanding on various knowledge and issues covering: (i) Challenges on further improvement of ABTC scheme, (ii) Efficiency and risk management related to processing time, application requirements and verification process; (iii) Sharing best practices and successful experiences from participating economies in promoting increase utilization and positive growth of the ABTC. 

3) A final report of maximum of 20 (twenty) pages will be submitted to report and evaluate the implementation of the workshop, which will consist of the following but not limited to, sections on: (1) introduction of the project; (2) opportunities and challenges on ABTC application and utilisation; (3) best practices in risk management and efficiency in application process; (4) set of recommendation to improve domestic policy formulation; (5) summary of speakers’ presentations, feedbacks from the participants, findings derived from discussions at the workshop;  and (6) an annex regarding desk research from the consultant related to ABTC utilisation. The final report will be published in the APEC Publication Website and circulated to all APEC economies and to be presented in BMG for information purpose. 

Outcomes: The following outcomes are expected from this project:

a) Workshop participants’ understanding on implementing effective, efficient and better risk management of ABTC application and verification process is established. These outcomes will be measured with the Pre and Post Questionnaire prior to and after the workshop. All the participants will be required to complete these tests as a part of evaluation criteria.

b) Best practices in implementing effective and efficient ABTC application and verification process including challenges and opportunities to increase the number of ABTC are identified.

c) A set of recommendation and future capacity building activities build on suggested actions from each session are produced. The workshop participants are expected to disseminate their knowledge to their respective economies stakeholders in order to have a real impact in domestic policy formulation. 

Beneficiaries: The direct beneficiaries are business-people and policy makers (government responsible for ABTC management and immigration process) from APEC economies. Policy makers will benefit from gaining a better, cross-economy understanding on effective approaches to develop more favorable ecosystem on promoting mobility of businesspeople through ABTC. Policy maker will gain insights they needed to formulate and implement more effective policies. Businesses will benefit from sharing their experiences, challenge they had to overcome, and voicing their opinions about the features they need from ABTC scheme in order to better utilize the ABTC. 

Secondary beneficiaries are researchers and/or academics that can take best practices or case studies presented and findings resulted in this workshop as their input for future possible research.

Dissemination

The presentations and final report will be published electronically on the APEC Publication website. The electronic publication will include the presentation slides by experts and private sectors and selected APEC economies practices. These documents will also be disseminated electronically to workshop speakers, participants and BMG members. Other target audience are policy makers and business community in APEC member economies and participating economies.

The documents will be prepared by an appointed contractor with close monitoring and steering direction by the PO. Storing all the documents online will allow all economies have equal access to the documents at low cost and be able to share them with their relevant home economy parties. Final report will be circulated through relevant sub fora as BMG for endorsement and will be presented to CTI for information. APEC will receive ownership of all publications. APEC Intellectual Property and Logo will be attached on all publications produced in this report. The PO has no intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

The project will ensure a conducive environment is created during project planning and implementation stages to enable the effective representation of both men and women. PO will ensure that gender considerations are taken into careful consideration during all stages of the project and there are sufficient numbers of women nominated for the event. Preferences will be given to women when inviting speakers.

To involve participation from both genders, the project’s minimum target value of women participants and women speakers is set at 40%. The organizer will inform economies that we collect gender balance / sex-disaggregated data for all speakers and participants (not only from APEC funded) on the project event. This project also aims to promote greater uptake of the ABTC utilization among businesswomen to balance cardholder number between male and female users. Speaker and participants particularly from businesswomen will be encouraged to share their experience and best practices in applying and utilizing the ABTC to support their business activity. This will support women’s economic empowerment pillar to enhance their skill and ability so women are physically capable of a range of economic pursuits and are prepared both educationally and technically for success in the workforce, in business, and in entrepreneurship. The project will also support women’s economic empowerment pillar on Innovation and Technology so women have equal opportunities as men to benefit from and participate in development and implementation of scientific advances and new technologies.

In developing the workshop agenda, the PO will ensure that at least one item or question addresses ABTC usage by women, ie what are the percentages overall, how can this be improved (ie is there a bias in the criteria, is greater awareness needed).

Work Plan

Time

Tasks

Deliverables

February - March 2021

Identify possible contractor

Develop Terms of Reference

Develop the draft agenda and consult contractors.

List of possible contractor

April – June 2021

Identify eligible speakers, contacting and inviting speakers for each session (from host and co-sponsor Economies / International Organizations / academia / government officials / business sectors / others)

Requesting deadline for chosen speakers to submit their presentation materials (PPT format)

Conducting desk research by the consultant

Drafting and finalizing General Information (GI) of the workshop

Circulating GI

Requesting BMG members to nominate participants

Inviting domestic stakeholders

Managing all logistics

Data of eligible speakers for each session

General information on the workshop

Draft research results

July – August 2021

Finalizing the workshop agenda and presentation materials from speakers

Final materials from speakers

July - August 2021

Drafting and finalizing (ex ante and ex post) evaluation of the workshop.

Final (ex ante and ex post) evaluation of the workshop

September 2021

Conducting ex ante and ex post evaluation

Evaluation result

September 2021

Conducting a virtual workshop

6 speakers to present on the two days  (half day each) workshop

5 sessions on challenges on further improvement of ABTC scheme and efficiency in terms of processing time, application requirements and verification process and compile best practices to develop a set of recommendation to increase the number of ABTC holders.

Retrieved surveys from participant to gather feedback on the effectiveness of the workshop.

October 2021

Compiling Report with main workshop’s conclusions: PO with support from the contractor will elaborate a report with recommendations

Workshop presentations and other materials

Compiling comments and suggestion from member economies

Submission of APEC Project Monitoring Report to the Secretariat

APEC Project Monitoring Report

October - November 2021

Developing the Final Report

The Draft Final Report

November - December 2021

Submitting the Draft of Final Report to APEC Secretariat and compiling Feedback from member economies

The Draft Final Report with track changes

1 January 2022

Submiting the final Report to APEC Secretariat

Final report

January - February 2022

Developing APEC Project Completion Report

APEC Project Completion Report

February 2022

Developing Workshop Report Presentation for BMG Meeting in February 2022

Presenting and reporting the workshop activities in BMG meeting

Workshop report presentation

April 2022

Submiting APEC Project Completion Report smf and supporting documents to APEC Secretariat

APEC Project Completion Report

June 2022

Participate in the Long-Term Evaluation of APEC Projects conducted by the APEC Secretariat



Risks

a)   Risk 1: Right speakers are not secured.

Good speakers will be essential for the event to be both interesting and engaging and also relevant. A variety of speakers will be sought, including authority officials to represent government; representatives from business associations, enterprises to raise voice of business sector, experts from other relevant organizations with expertise on the topic. The organizers will work closely with co-sponsoring economies and BMG members to nominate and invite the most suitable speakers for the workshop. Invitations for speakers and participants will be delivered at least two months prior to the workshop to make sure that any conflicts of engagement are minimized.

Mitigation: If the main speaker cancels one month before the workshop, an alternative speaker will be sought as a replacement. If the main speaker has last minutes cancelation, the organizers will provide time extension for other speakers and/or moderator may substitute and take role as a speaker. Moderator may seek information from and ask the expert participants to actively contribute in the topic discussions. The cancelled speaker should refund his/her advanced payment to APEC Secretariat.

b)   Risk 2: Economies not showing or absent

Mitigation: Invitation will be distributed approximately 2 months at the latest prior to the workshop and advance payment will be available for early registered funded participant. Furthermore, Project Overseers will be in close contact with participants throughout the process to minimize any last-minute cancelations. If there are any cancellations, the PO will seek advice from APEC Secretariat to nominate additional participant(s) from travel eligible economies.

c)   Risk 3: related virtual hosting:

Due to projected uncertainty for participants’ overseas travel in 2021, the organizer decided to hold the event in a virtual format. However, if there will be any changes in the workshop format, PO will consult the APEC Secretariat with 4 months’ notice in advance and will take necessary actions to undertake any contractual amendments. Additionally, there are certain risk associated with virtual event that warrant consideration:

i)   Access to events

PO will make sure only desired attendees (participants and speakers) that would be able to access the virtual workshop through following steps:

·  Registration is mandatory for workshop participants. This is important to identify verified participants and manage who will attend the virtual workshop

·  Consider adding a password or other authentication requirement for attendees to access the event

·   Distribute the link only to registered speakers and participants

ii) Disruptive activity during virtual workshop

PO will give careful consideration to security features when selecting virtual meeting platform, disable features that allow attendees to present their desktops or intervene without being called upon, and share specific details regarding meeting etiquette in the administrative circular.

iii)  Technical difficulties

PO will ensure to provide the most suitable environment and equipment for convening a virtual event by working closely with the service providers to identify available specialists in order to assist Po’s to successfully develop, moderate and facilitate virtual event.

When necessary, a test run prior to the workshop will be conducted to ensure smooth connection during workshop implementation

iv)  Agenda adjustment

PO will adjust the workshop agenda in accordance with virtual format workshop to ensure participation of all participating economies throughout the events by:

-  Organizing the event into a half-day workshop that will commence in two days

- Distribute an exact amount of time in each section of agenda to ensure that the workshop will be completed as planned and successfully cover all the topics needed.

-  Taking into account time differences among participating economies.

d)  Risk 4: Low gender representation.

Encourage Economies to nominate speakers and participants in a gender-balance.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Evaluation Focus

Indicators

Target Goals

Evaluation Method

Reporting

Outputs

Pre-Workshop Research

No. of pages

1-3

Submission to the Secretariat

Final Report

Workshop

Contracted executed

31 March 2021

Certification by PO

Contract

No. of experts engaged

8

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

No. of attending economies

19

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

% of participating men/women

50/50

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

Final Report

No. of pages

15-20

Certification by PO

Email to the Secretariat

Submission to the Secretariat

1 Jan 2022

Submission to the Secretariat

Email to the Secretariat

Outcomes

Best practices in implementing effective and efficient ABTC application and verification process including challenges and opportunities to increase the number of ABTC are identified

Number of best practices or success story from member economies presented at the workshop including opportunities and challenges related to the topic presented during the workshop

3

Included in the Final Report

Report to Working Group

The APEC longer-term evaluation of APEC Projects

Participants understanding on implementing effective, efficient and better risk management of ABTC application and verification process is established.

% of participants report substantial knowledge increase

75%

Ex-ante and ex-post evaluations

Completion Report

Set of recommendation and future capacity building activities are produced

No. of recommendations made

5

Included in the Final Report

Report to Working Group

The APEC longer-term evaluation of APEC Projects


Linkages

The organizer will invite representations from CTI and non-APEC stakeholders from international and regional organizations, private sector and business associations in each of respective member economies to share their know-how in the workshop. Project Overseer will also seek nomination of experts from ABAC and IATA to speak in the program. This project also will be actively open to the participation and collaboration of other organizations with respect to current initiatives particularly in ABTC development and utilization.

Preliminary research on previous project and work in the BMG has been conducted to ensure that this project does not duplicate work of other projects. We have identified several APEC initiatives that relate to ABTC development. Although there are several initiatives on this topic that BMG have discussed, we observed that challenges on how to improve the efficiency and manage risk involved in ABTC implementation remain necessary for all participating economies. Through this project, we aim to facilitate knowledge sharing focusing on how to better utilize the ABTC and we consider that APEC is the most appropriate forum to discuss this issue, as ABTC is one of APEC most prominent initiatives in promoting connectivity in the region.

The project completion report and outputs are intended to be circulated to ABAC and other APEC fora as a contribution for cross fora collaboration.

According to official data as of Mach 2019, women only accounted for 21% (67,155) of the total ABTC holders, while male cardholders accounted for 79% (252,203). In cooperation with the Policy Partnership on Women in the Economy (PPWE), this initiative also aims to promote greater uptake of the ABTC utilization among businesswomen to balance cardholder number between male and female users.

Sustainability

The workshop will be designed to generate greater understanding among all participants regarding the effective utilization of ABTC including its application process so that the participants can carry forward and disseminate the workshop results and lesson-learned in their line of work.

One of the main outcomes of the workshop will be a set of recommendations for APEC economies that will be developed and compiled from best practices and successful experiences from participating member economies. There will be a dedicated session built in towards the end of the workshop to discuss and decide on these recommendations. The organizers will work with the contractors and speakers to further refine the recommendations post-workshop. The organizers will then circulate it to BMG members for further feedback and input before circulating it widely among all participants. This will ensure that the recommendations are tangible, actionable and aligned with the BMG work program.

Project Overseers

Satrio Nugroho, Assistant Deputy Director of APEC Trade Facilitation, Directorate of APEC and International Organizations Negotiations, Ministry of Trade will manage the project. He got his Master’s degree from Australian National University and has involved on the APEC cooperation since 2014. He has been in charge of trade facilitation related issues in CTI and assigned to various international trade negotiations, namely Bilateral and APEC cooperation.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

An individual with an administrative and clerical backgrounds will be contracted for this project. (140 hours).

A Contractor/consultant will work in total 258 hours.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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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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