Associate Private Sector Engagement Specialist

Associate Private Sector Engagement Specialist

Position: Associate Private Sector Engagement Specialist

Base of Operation: HCMC, Vietnam

Period of Performance: 1-year contract (potential extension during project duration)

Starting date: October 1, 2020

Project Background:

The USAID Trade Facilitation Program is a five-year project (started in 2018) that aims to support Vietnam to adopt and implement a risk management approach to the clearance of goods at Vietnam’s borders and facilitate implementation of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The Program collaborates with the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) to strengthen Vietnam’s National Trade Facilitation Committee1 (NTFC) and its Standing Office and Working Groups; streamline border clearance procedures (including specialized inspection implemented by other line ministries and agencies); harmonize the implementation of risk-based approaches between the national and provincial levels; train national and provincial customs officers and staff from other ministries on risk management; and facilitate dialogue between customs and business and between stakeholders in Hanoi and in the provinces.

Overview:

The USAID Trade Facilitation Program engages with the private sector as a means of ensuring programmatic and operational relevance and the achievement of mutual strategic goals and objectives. This includes the key program priority: promotion, adoption and implementation of a risk-based approach to customs clearance that will reduce both border and specialized inspections. To achieve this goal, the Program engages with multiple private sector stakeholders to build cross sectoral support in the following ways:

  1. Design program activities that encourage the private sector to identify business opportunities within the program’s priorities and challenges;
  2. Capacity building and developing policies and strategies for strengthening the private sector and market systems;
  3. Partnership with Foreign Chambers of Commerce and Donor Programs.

The USAID Trade Facilitation Program will identify opportunities to work with the private sector on aligned interests throughout the program components in building cross-sectoral support, elevating trade facilitation issues on the national level, awareness raising of trade facilitation agreement measures for small and medium enterprises, and leveraging the provincial presence of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industries (VCCI) and other business associations.

The primary role of the Associate Private Sector Engagement Specialist will be to provide technical assistance and support to the Private Sector Engagement Specialist and the Senior Trade Facilitation Expert in working with the private sector and their representative associations and chambers of commerce in implementing Component 4 of the Program which is dedicated to enhancing partnerships between the GDVC and the private sector. In addition, as the Program incorporates private sector engagement as a cross-cutting technical area, the Associate Private Sector Engagement Specialist will be required to liaise and work closely with the Program’s NTFC Advisor and Trade Facilitation Coordinators to encourage greater and sustainable engagement of the private sector in policy development and improve Custom-to-Business communication and collaboration on trade facilitation matters. The Associate Private Sector Engagement Specialist will be based in HCMC and will be required to visit Hanoi, as well as selected provinces as needed to cooperate and collaborate with various stakeholders. The Associate Private Sector Engagement Specialist will assist the Private Sector Engagement Specialist in implementing all project tasks efficiently, effectively and to the highest professional standard.

Responsibilities and Tasks

Engage the private sector in HCMC on issues related to trade facilitation

  • Study the private sector landscape in HCMC and the Southern region to identify key actors in the private sector for engagement opportunities to achieve the Program’s goal and objectives.

  • Networking and relationship building with private sector businesses, chambers and associations based in HCMC and the Southern region to support Program’s implementation in HCMC and nearby provinces.

  • Build and maintain a database and networks of private sector partners.

  • Provide support to the Private Sector Engagement Specialist in identifying, developing and pursuing opportunities to leverage private sector ‘know how’, financial resources and business interests into the activities of the Program.

  • Support program engagement with private sector in implementing provincial activities and private sector participation in the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) and Provincial Trade Facilitation Committee (PTFC).

  • Contribute towards broader work of enhancing the partnership between customs and the private sector at both national and provincial level.

  • Other contributions to the Program as requested by the Private Sector Engagement Specialist and the Program’s Senior Trade Facilitation Expert.

Conduct research to support private sector engagement in trade facilitation

  • Support and contribute to studies, research, surveys and analyses carried out by the Program.

  • Support project engagement with Chamber of Commerce for public-private dialogue and business surveys and private sector participation and/or membership in the NTFC in HCMC and Southern region.

Support the private sector engagement specialist

  • Other contributions to the Program as requested by the Private Sector Engagement Specialist and the Program’s Senior Trade Facilitation Expert.

Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in law, economics, business administration, international trade, or similar field (Bachelor degree with more than 10 years of experience in field may be accepted);

  • Minimum 7 years of experience working with domestic and international private sector and Vietnamese government on trade or customs related matters;

  • Ability to solve problems as well as exercise considerable analysis and judgement to identify solutions;

  • Strong communication, interpersonal, and leadership skills. Excellent oral and written communication skills;

  • Proficient in word processing, spreadsheets and office software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google Applications; and

  • Fluency in English and Vietnamese.

Reporting

The Associate Private Sector Engagement Specialist will report to the Private Sector Engagement Specialist and the Program’s Senior Trade Facilitation Expert.

Application

Interested candidates should send a cover letter outlining their interest in the position along with a CV to Mr. Filip Graovac at filip.graovac@asiafoundation.org or via fax at (24) 3943-3257.

Deadline for submission: September 4, 2020

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1 The Vietnam NTFC was established under Prime Minister Decision 1899/QD-TTG dated October 4, 2016 and is otherwise known as the ‘1899 Committee’ or ‘NSC’ being the National Steering Committee for ASEAN Single Window system, National Single Window system, and Trade Facilitation.
   

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