UNDP and Government of Switzerland Support Trade Promotion in Viet Nam

12 Dec 2000

Ha Noi - The Government of Switzerland and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have provided US$776,000 to fund the initial phase of a project being developed in Viet Nam, focusing on trade promotion and export development. The initial phase is to be executed by the International Trade Centre.

During this eighteen-month initial phase, a baseline study will be conducted, as well as a further needs assessment for institutional and human resource development. A set of pilot activities will be implemented that aim to identify goals, outputs, activities and strategies that will be the basis for a subsequent full-scale technical assistance project. These activities are also expected to contribute to building up the capacity of the Government to effectively implement the full-scale project.

"This preparatory phase is expected to pave the way for a full-scale trade promotion and export development project," said UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Edouard A. Wattez. "This will enable Viet Nam to respond more effectively to the opportunities and challenges of the global trading system". Mr Wattez was speaking at a ceremony yesterday, where he signed the Preparatory Assistance phase of the project, along with Vice Minister for Trade, Mr Mai Van Dau, and the Ambassador of Switzerland, His Excellency Mr Thomas Feller. 

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Switzerland, which provided most of the funds for this preparatory phase, Ambassador Feller said that the integration of Viet Nam into the world economy was a core concern for Switzerland. "Switzerland has already funded several projects in order to promote the Vietnamese trade expansion," said Ambassador Feller. "More specifically, Switzerland supports projects related to trade policy definition for the accession of Vietnam to WTO, and projects more directly linked with the promotion of Vietnamese exports, like the Swiss Import Promotion Programme."

An important element of the preparatory phase is to help build the partnership between the Government and other stakeholders in trade promotion. "The uniqueness of this assistance is that it aims to build stronger links among the three levels of stakeholders in the trade promotion system. Namely, export enterprises, public and private trade support institutions, and central government institutions," said Mr Wattez.

To this effect, a preliminary blueprint for an effective trade promotion network in Viet Nam will be prepared. This will be presented at a future workshop, where it shall be further discussed and finalized. A survey on export potential in Viet Nam will also be conducted and export-marketing plans will be formulated for the two pilot product sectors of footwear and seafood.

In addition, the linkages and working relationships between overseas trade representatives in Vietnamese Embassies and the trade promotion network inside Viet Nam will be reviewed. Overseas representatives have an important role to play as providers of commercial intelligence inwards and outwards. Guidelines for their trade promotion responsibilities will be prepared. 

The development of trade promotion and export marketing capacities in Viet Nam will require substantial upgrading of human resources. For this purpose, a first assessment of training needs and capacities will be conducted and eventually developed into a comprehensive training programme to be executed during the project.

A project document for a full-scale project will be drawn up on the basis of lessons learned and priority areas identified during the preparatory phase.

Contact Information

UNDP Public Information Unit at (04) 942 1495