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 Multilateral Trade Policy Department (MTP), Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), to survey business awareness of the CPTPP and to design and deliver training courses and public information tools to increase awareness of the obligations and opportunities created by the agreement.
This technical assistance will include:
• In consultation with MTP, MOIT, the Consultant, will design and conduct a survey to assess Vietnamese business awareness and understanding of CPTPP obligations and opportunities.
• Design and conduct a round table of national government officials responsible for the promotion of women owned businesses, and the integration of marginalised groups, relevant national associations, and businesses owned or operated by women or indigenous groups. The roundtable will seek to identify specific needs of these underrepresented groups in accessing the benefits of trade, and how to adapt the public information and training tools.
• The preparation of a business guide designed to raise awareness and understanding of the key obligations and opportunities of the CPTPP, and the design of related social media products.
• The consultant will design and deliver three training courses, based on the findings of the business survey and roundtable – one targeted to the business community, one to local government officials and one to underrepresented groups. Each of these training sessions will also serve as a train the trainer opportunity. In collaboration with MOIT, the consultant will identify relevant government officials, business support organizations, business associations, and academic institutions from which the trainers will be identified. It is anticipated that the three training courses will be delivered in three regions as identified by MOIT.
Technical Expert Profile/Expertise Required
• Applicants for this assignment must have extensive experience in trade policy and a thorough knowledge and understanding of the CPTPP, particularly in respect of the market access provisions.
• Experience in trade promotion and export market development in either the public or private sector is required.
• Experience in the design and delivery of training on trade promotion and export development.
• Experience in the delivery of trade related technical assistance.
• Fluency in Vietnamese would be an asset.
• 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 of these 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 March 2021
• Activity Workplan – this plan will include an overall implementation plan, performance measurement approach, including specific performance measures to evaluate the impact of the project, activity timelines, level of effort, and proposed budget
• Mission plan(s) – including a mission schedule, list of meetings and planned activities
• Roundtable activity plan and report
• Draft and final version of survey and survey report
• Proposed structure and content of the business guide
• Final draft of the business guide
• Training schedule and modules in both English and Vietnamese
• Final activity report as per EDM report guidelines 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