Trade Promotion Project to be Launched

20 Feb 2001

HA NOI - An inception workshop will be held here on Wednesday 21 February for a Preparatory ion Assistance phase of a project being developed in Viet Nam, focusing on trade promotion and export development. The Government of Switzerland has provided most of the $776,000 fund for this initial phase, while the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) financed the rest of the fund.

This Preparatory Assistance phase initial phase was jointly signed in Ha Noi last December by Vice Minister of Trade, Mr Mai Van Dau; Ambassador of Switzerland, His Excellency Mr Thomas Feller; and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Edouard A. Wattez. This project will be hosted by the Ministry of Trade/Vietrade, and executed by the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC).

The inception workshop will be co-chaired by Vice Minister of Trade, Doctor Le Danh Vinh; Ambassador of Swizerland, Mr Thomas Feller; UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Maurice Dewulf and ITC Executive Director, Mr Jean-Denis Belisle, who arrived here on 17 February for a week-long official visit to Viet Nam at the invitation of Minister of Trade, His Excellency Mr Vu Khoan.

This workshop is to be attended by representatives of the Government, the business community, trade support agencies and donors. The main purpose of the workshop will be to officially launch the project, present its objectives and expected outputs and how they fit in the current development strategies of the Government. The workshop is also expected to initiate the process of joint work and networking.

During this 18-month preparatory phase, national and international consultants will undertake a number of base line studies, needs assessments and two pilot export strategies in the areas of footwear and seafood, trade information and commercial intelligence. In the process, capacity building will take place at threelevels: central government; public and private trade support institutions; and exporting enterprises.

According to the project's Senior Technical Adviser Alain Chevalier, one main objective is to build stronger linkages among the three levels of stakeholders in the trade promotion system, namely export enterprises, public and private trade support institutions and central government institutions. The results of this preparatory phase, the lessons learned and capacity developed are expected to be the stepping stone for a subsequent full-scale project.

A second workshop will take place at Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday 23 February to introduce the project to its partners in the South.

The first inception Workshop is accessible to the media at Melia Hotel, 44B Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Ha Noi, from 9.30 to 11.30 AM Wednesday 21 February.

Contact Information

Public Information Unit, Tel: (84 4) 942 1495; Fax: 942 2267