Project Name: Raising Awareness of CPTPP Investment Obligations in Vietnam
Post Title: Expert in International Investment Protection Agreements
Deadline to Apply: November 25, 2019
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.
Vietnam has been identified by Global Affairs Canada as a priority country for technical assistance, in the context of the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Despite rapid economic growth since the introduction of the “doi moi” (renovation) reform policy in 1986, Vietnam faces daunting challenges:
• growth in total factor productivity has slowed;
• the demographic dividend is being eroded by low-wage competitors;
• trade costs remain comparatively high;
• its exports remain labour-intensive and low value-added;
• the benefits of economic growth are unevenly spread among its 58 provinces – 15% of the population, living in remote or rural areas, carry the burden of 50% of national poverty;
• women are disproportionately represented in subsistence farming, in low-skilled, precarious employment and in the informal economy, and;
• women remain underrepresented in senior management and the political class.
Implementation of the CPTPP also represents a significant challenge to Vietnam – a commitment to implement a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art trade disciplines that exceed the obligations of WTO agreements. Notwithstanding the suspension of certain measures after the US withdrawal (largely measures affecting intellectual property rights), the CPTPP calls upon Vietnam to further open its market, adopt stronger governance and regulatory practices, expand labour rights and meet higher environmental standards, provide greater protection to investments, and foster enhanced inclusiveness in trade. Implementing the many new obligations imposed by CPTPP membership will require support from CPTPP and development partners.
An EDM mission to Vietnam, conducted in November 2018, identified many technical assistance needs, including in trade policy capacity-building. Subsequent discussions with the Multilateral Trade Policy Department of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (the coordinating agency for EDM assistance projects in Vietnam) and the project leads for individual applicant organizations, established priority assistance projects for 2019-20. Among the priorities expressed by Vietnam was support to implement the investment obligations of the CPTPP, to raise public awareness of enforcement obligations, and strengthen Vietnam’s capacity to manage investment disputes.
This assistance is consistent with the approved EDM Country Needs Assessment Plan for Vietnam, Mandate 1, Trade Policy Capacity Building, and the EDM Performance Measurement Framework, Immediate Outcome 1210, enhancing the ability of partner country governments to strengthen, implement and measure legislation, regulations, policies and/or standards that support inclusive trade and investment agreements with Canada.
This assistance will directly benefit over 300 national and local government officials responsible for the administration of investment protection in Vietnam. The indirect benefit will be all industry in Vietnam to the extent that training and awareness help to avoid investment disputes against Vietnam.
Description of Assignment:
Technical assistance has been requested by the Department of Legislation and the Foreign Investment Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investment, to raise national and local government awareness of CPTPP investment obligations.
This consult will:
• Conduct a mission to Hanoi to provide a comprehensive briefing on CPTPP obligations in investment protection to national government officials responsible for investment policy.
• Design and deliver six (6) training sessions in three regions of Vietnam (2 per region) to 50 participants per training session, to raise awareness of CPTPP obligations, the dispute settlement system, and the penalties for noncompliance.
• Throughout the delivery of the TA, the consultant will seek to identify opportunities to promote social inclusion, in both the short-term conduct of the project and longer-term economic policy development.
Technical Expert Profile/Expertise Required:
Applicants for this assignment must have extensive experience in international investment protection agreements.
• A thorough knowledge and understanding of investment provision of the CPTPP.
• Experience in the design and delivery of international training programs.
• Experience in providing technical assistance to developing countries.
• The EDM includes a core focus on gender and social inclusion as well as on environmental issues associated with trade activities. The approach to TA related to both topics is included in guidance documents that are available to both TA applicants and Technical Experts. Integrating such analysis will form a core part of the mandate of the TA provider therefore any prior experience in the provision of TA on gender equality and social inclusion and environment will be viewed as a strong asset
December 2019 to June 2020
Reporting and Deliverables:
Activity Workplan – this plan will include an implementation plan, a performance measurement approach, including specific performance measures to evaluate the impact of the project, activity timelines, and proposed budget
Mission plan – including a list of meetings and planned activities
Draft and final briefing and training materials in English and Vietnamese
Final activity report as per EDM report guidelines as outlined below:
On conclusion of the activities, the consultant will prepare a final report as per EDM report guidelines, including:
• General context and broad objective(s) of the activity.
• A summary of the approach and specific activities.
• Expected and unanticipated challenges in the delivery of the activities.
• Outlines results, including the immediate outcomes and the anticipated longer-term benefits.
• Sustainability of results.
• Contribution to gender equality, social inclusion and sustainable development.
• Recommended performance management framework and specific performance measures.
• Recommended next steps in the implementation of the CPTPP in Vietnam, including future EDM deployments.
• Lessons learned for future EDM interventions.
• List of trade promotion organizations in CPTPP countries.