4 Apr 2017

SECO Vietnam workshop explores trade facilitation

An international workshop on ‘Trade Facilitation: European Experiences and Lessons for Vietnam’, co-organised by the WTI in the context of the SECO academic cooperation project, took place on 20-21 March in Hanoi.

The workshop was significant both in terms of research and practice following the entry into force on 22 February of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Vietnam is keen to establish action programmes and strategies to take advantage of opportunities and overcome challenges arising from the implementation of the TFA.

The event was attended by academics, researchers and experts on international trade law, as well as Vietnamese government officials. SECO was represented by its deputy country director for Vietnam, Roman Windisch.

Mr Windisch emphasised the importance of the Vietnam-Switzerland relationship. The SECO funding for Vietnam’s Foreign Trade University (FTU) through the WTI/SECO project was a clear demonstration of Switzerland’s commitments in technical assistance to developing countries in general and Vietnam in particular. He expressed the hope that such cooperation would continue to be promoted in the future.

Through open discussion as well as shared practical experiences, the workshop was aimed at providing valuable lessons for Vietnam in implementing and securing compliance with the TFA obligations, thereby promoting trade and improving the business environment in the country. A further aim was to provide useful and necessary information for Vietnamese businesses to grasp the opportunities and benefits provided by TFA, while promoting their role in the process of reforming administrative procedures in general and customs procedures in particular in Vietnam under the influence of TFA.

The workshop was co-organised with the FTU and the Center for International and Community Studies and Research (CERIC) at Aix-Marseille University, France, and was sponsored by the WTI/SECO project.