CTIF announces the launch of a new initiative to support the trade and development priorities of Vietnam. This initiative helps the Vietnamese government identify business opportunities created by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and increases the access of small and medium enterprises (SME), particularly led by women, to Canada and other foreign markets. The Trade Facilitation Office of Canada will implement this initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam.
Through training and advisory support, the initiative will build the capacity of Vietnamese government officials to identify opportunities and challenges stemming from CPTPP and maximize the positive impacts of the agreement on Vietnam’s economic development. Enhancing the technical capacity of the staff who will be supporting SMEs is particularly strategic to ensure the effective implementation of the agreement.
More importantly, the initiative will train up to 300 SMEs in gaining access to the Canadian market and provide one-on-one technical assistance to 45 of them. The potential of Vietnamese products will be analyzed for CPTPP markets in general and the Canadian market in particular by international trade policy and trade agreements experts in close co-operation with Vietnamese experts from the public and private sector. Half of these SMEs will be owned or led by women, ensuring that CPTPP can contribute to the economic empowerment of Vietnamese women.
Phil Rourke, CTIF Project Director, commented: “Trade agreements are only as useful as the jobs they create and the sustainable development they bring to society. This initiative will help Vietnamese SMEs, and especially those that are women-led, take advantage of their government’s membership in the CPTPP. This is beneficial for Vietnam and its strategy to maximize the benefits from further integration into the international economy. This is good for development because it targets those individuals and firms that are the real drivers of growth and more inclusive change in the domestic economy.”
The Trade Facilitation Office of Canada will develop guidebooks and gender-responsive training material as well as train 30 government officials and up to 300 SME representatives. It has proven expertise in assisting SMEs from developing countries to access international markets through trade information, advice and capacity building services.