Trade policy and export development expert

Job Description


Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM) provides technical assistance to Official Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries to maximize the development impacts of trade and investment. Over seven years (2018-2025), EDM will invest CAD 16.5 million to support Canada's developing country trading partners to negotiate, implement and benefit from and adapt to trade and investment agreements with Canada.
EDM is a demand-driven project that will benefit potential partners – including governments, local private sector groups and local civil society organizations – through capacity building and technical advisory support on policy reform issues that have a high potential to reduce poverty and gender inequalities and support progress in trade and investment agreement negotiations.
Viet Nam's development over the past three decades has been remarkable. Through sustained economic reform efforts, Viet Nam has increased per capita GDP tenfold; risen from one of the poorest nations in the world to Lower Middle-Income Country status; lifted tens of millions out of poverty; cut infant mortality in half; and increased life expectancy by almost 7 years. 
An important part of its development strategy has been to integrate the regional and global economies, including through membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Russian-leg Customs Union Block;  bilateral trade agreements with the European Union, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom; and joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Global Affairs Canada has identified Viet Nam as a priority beneficiary of EDM technical assistance in the context of the implementation of the CPTPP. Since its launch in 2019, EDM has provided support for multiple activities designed to: introduce new legislation, regulations, policies and procedures to conform to the obligations of the CPTPP;  raise public awareness of the obligations and opportunities created by the Agreement; and strengthen trade policy capacity. More recently, Canada has initiated negotiations towards a free trade agreement with ASEAN, another step in deepening its economic relationship with Viet Nam and the region, and a new focus for technical assistance.
Cooperatives play an important role in the Vietnamese economy, contributing 4% of the GDP and 4.6% of jobs. Cooperatives are also important in rural economic development: over 60% of all cooperatives are in the agricultural sector, generating 17% of GDP and nearly 50% of employment in Viet Nam. In 2022, the collective economy in Vietnam comprised  27,394 cooperatives and 108 cooperative unions, employing over 4 million Vietnamese. 
However, these numbers have decreased in recent years, and cooperatives have benefited less than other sectors from increased trade and export market opening through trade agreements.   Cooperatives generally lack awareness of export markets and export development strategies. Nor do they benefit from tailored trade promotion policy, programs and services of government or private sector trade support organizations.
The national development strategy for the cooperative sector of Vietnam was approved in June 2022. It affirmed that: "The collective economy is an important economic component that must be consolidated and developed…. becoming a solid foundation of the national economy". Among the strategy's goals are to increase cooperatives' participation in supply chains; and to strengthen the management and performance of collectives through information and training activities.
According to its Charter, approved by the Prime Minister of Viet Nam in 2021, the Viet Nam Cooperative Alliance (VCA) is the only agency that represents cooperatives, protects the legitimate rights and interests of cooperatives, develops policy, is mandated by the State to deliver services, acts as a bridge between the State and the collective economic sector, and contributes to the socio-economic development of the country.
In this context, the Viet Nam Cooperative Alliance (VCA) has requested technical assistance to develop a cooperative sector export strategy based on an assessment of the export potential of the sector. The strategy would address both the national and grass-roots level challenges of export development by providing: a national roadmap for export development, including recommended policies, programs and services that should be established by the VCA and the Government of Viet Nam; and a business guide on the development of an export strategy for individual member cooperatives.
This technical assistance is timely, as it would be undertaken in parallel with the Government of Vietnam's ten-year review of the Law on Cooperatives 2012. The review provides an opportunity for the VCA to engage with relevant Government agencies to help shape future measures to support export development in the cooperative sector, as well as help frame Viet Nam's negotiating objectives in ongoing and future trade negotiations. 
Linkage to EDM Performance Measurement Framework
This assistance is consistent with the approved EDM Country Needs Assessment Plan for Viet Nam, Mandate 1, Trade Policy Capacity Building, and Mandate 2, Export Development Training for SMEs.
The assistance is also aligned with the EDM Performance Measurement Framework, Immediate Outcome 1310 Increased abilities among targeted private sector organizations (PSOs) to adapt to and benefit from trade and investment agreements with Canada.
Description of Technical Assistance Request
The technical expert(s) will:

  • Prepare a written assessment of current and potential exports of the cooperatives sector in Viet Nam, developed based on secondary sources and a survey of a representative sample of VCA member cooperatives.
  • Develop a national export development strategy for the Vietnamese cooperatives sector, including recommendations for new support policies, programs and services that should be established by the VCA and the Government of Viet Nam, including those targeted at cooperatives led by women, ethnic minorities, or other marginalized groups.
  • The Export Development Strategy should incorporate environmental sustainability, including addressing the short and long-term climate risks that are/ will affect Vietnam's production and export capacity.
  • Design a business guide and training course to be used by VCA staff to guide member cooperatives in developing an export strategy.
  • Deliver the course in two regional centres, to representative groups of member cooperatives, as a pilot to test the content and teaching approach, and as a 'train-the-trainer' workshop to prepare VCA staff to deliver the course.

Bidders are encouraged to consider the participation of local experts in the cooperative sector in Viet Nam in the design and delivery of this technical assistance.   For information on local experts and organizations, bidders may contact Mr. Dat Chu, Viet Nam Cooperative Alliance, at: [email protected]
Consistent with Canada's inclusive trade approach, the EDM seeks to promote gender equality/social inclusion and environmental protection as cross-cutting objectives of all technical assistance.  Proposals should explain how gender equality/social inclusion objectives will be integrated into the content and conduct of the survey, strategy, business guide and training course. This should include specific targets for the participation of women, ethnic minorities, and other marginalized groups. All deliverables should be gender-responsive and inclusive. Proposals should also indicate how environmental protection will be addressed, including linking the environment and climate change and agricultural production, highlighting the global trend towards green trade and the opportunities and challenges for small producers, and identifying the role of collectives in promoting sustainable economic development.
Bidders should recommend delivery of this assistance in person or by electronic means and explain the rationale behind their proposed delivery approach.
The direct beneficiaries of this assistance are the participating staff of the VCA and officials of government ministries and agencies directly involved in cooperatives development, trade policymaking and negotiations. The indirect beneficiaries will be the members of Vietnamese cooperatives, principally located in rural regions, who will receive enhanced export development services and increase their revenues from CPTPP and other export markets.
In the near term, the success of this assistance will be measured in the increased knowledge of officials. In the longer term, its success will be measured in the number of government and TSO export development measures and services tailored to the needs of Vietnamese cooperatives and their success in increasing export earnings, jobs and poverty reduction.
Technical Expert Profile/Expertise Required
Bidders must demonstrate extensive knowledge and experience in the following:

  • Export market development.
  • Government and private sector trade promotion policies, programs and services.
  • Trade agreements, including market access provisions and how these provisions can be exploited to expand export markets.
  • An understanding of cooperatives and the collective economy.
  • Gender equality and social inclusion as they relate to trade and economic development.
  • The links between environmental sustainability (including climate change) and international trade.
  • The design and delivery of adult education.
  • The delivery of technical assistance in developing countries.

Note: The EDM includes a core focus on gender and social inclusion as well as on environmental issues associated with trade activities. Successful applicants must research and integrate specific goods and emerging practices in this area, partnering with other expert consultants if necessary. Any prior experience in the provision of TA on gender equality and social inclusion, and the environment will be viewed as a strong asset.   Before starting activities, the successful Consultant (s) will be required to complete the Government of Canada's online Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) training (approximately 2 hours).
Starting date: March 2023
Proposed duration: 6 months

  • A detailed work plan, work schedule and budget for the delivery of activities.
  • Draft and final training program and teaching materials and pre and post-workshop evaluations.
  • Final Narrative Report on Mandate: Due within 30 calendar days of completing all TA activities. The report shall describe activities delivered; results achieved (versus initial expected results and baseline); lessons learned of relevance to future EDM activities; expenses incurred by the Consultant in carrying out the TAA; gender equality and social inclusion outcomes, environmental outcomes, document officials trained/participating in activities (name, gender, job title, institutional affiliation). This report will be reviewed and approved by EDM prior to being shared with Global Affairs Canada.
  • Contribute as necessary to the development of EDM communication materials and participate in an EDM roundtable highlighting key results achieved

Cowater International - Trade policy and export development expert

Closing Date March 20, 2023 Location   Work Type -
Salary Range     Experience Level  - Job ID  -

How to Apply

For your proposal to be considered, please name your document in the following format:
Name of Technical Assistance Request (found above), Consultant Last Name, First Name
(Proposals can be submitted by a single consultant or a consortium of consultants).
Your proposal should be submitted in English and contain the following sections:
  1. Cover letter
  2. Proposal that includes the following:
  3. Your approach and methodology to implementing this TA. Provide as much detail as possible. (10 pages maximum)
  4. Describe your approach to ensuring that gender equality and social inclusion are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery. (2 pages maximum)
  5. Describe your approach to ensuring that environmental impacts are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery. (1-page maximum)
  6. Outline your project management and monitoring strategy for the implementation of the activities. (2 pages maximum)
  7. Indicate all personnel being proposed to implement this project and their roles and responsibilities. Include all CVs of proposed personnel/experts. (20 pages maximum)
      We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.


        Cowater International is an equal opportunity employer, basing employment on merit and qualifications as they relate to professional experience and position expectations. Cowater does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender identity, disability, age, or any other basis protected by law.