U.S-backed Alliance to Facilitate Trade through Public-Private Dialogue

VTFA MOU Signing Ceremony, Dec 12, 2014

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, represented by its Ho Chi Minh City Chapter, (AmCham), the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the establishment of the Vietnam Trade Facilitation Alliance (VTFA). The MOU was witnessed by representatives of leading business associations, including VITAS (Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association), LEFASO (Vietnam Leather, Footwear, and Handbag Association), HAWA (Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City), and LBC (Leading Business Club).

The VTFA plans to establish formal consultative relationships between the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC), and other agencies involved in international trade, and business associations, as provided for by the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and by the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention. The VTFA is intended to serve as a national coalition for business and trade stakeholders to provide regular consultations with GDVC and other ministries or agencies regulating international trade, through regularly scheduled formal monthly and quarterly public meetings.

Read more …

Press Release, Dec 12, 2014 | Vietnamese | English |

Remarks by Chairman, AmCham Vietnam (HCMC) | Vietnamese | English |

Remarks by USAID Assistant Administrator | Vietnamese | English |

Remarks by Director General, VCCI (HCMC) | Vietnamese | English |

Memorandum of Understanding, Dec 12, 2014 | Vietnamese | English |

Governance for Inclusive Growth Fact Sheet | Vietnamese | English |

World Bank Trade Facilitation Agreement Support Program

Thành lập Liên minh Thuận lợi hóa Thương mại Việt Nam, VCCI.com,  15/12/2014

Thành lập Liên minh Thuận lợi hóa Thương mại Việt Nam – VTFA, Tời báo Tài chính, 15/12/14

Additional News Reports (Links)

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Media reports

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5:30p – 6:00p Arrival and Registration of Guests
6:00p – 7:00p Signing Ceremony for Memorandum of Understanding
6:05p – 6:08p Welcome Remarks – Marc Townsend, Chairman, AmCham Vietnam (HCM City)
6:10p – 6:20p Remarks by Anne Aarnes, Assistant Administrator, USAID
6:20p – 6:30- Remarks by Vo Tan Thanh, Director General, VCCI (HCM City)
6:30p – 6:45p Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by USAID, VCCI, AmCham
Witnessed by: LEFASOVITASLBCHAWA Representatives
6:45p Reception to Celebrate the Signing of the MOU

About the speakers

Marc Townsend, Chairman, AmCham Vietnam (HCM City)


Marc Townsend is Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam, HCM City) in 2014. He was Vice Chairman in 2013, and has been a member of the Board of Governors since 2008. He has helped develop AmCham as   a well informed, commercial resource supporting American and Vietnamese companies looking to expand their business and trading activities in South East Asia along ethical lines. Whilst at the same time working with the Vietnamese government and business community to explore trade and investment opportunities and best practice.

He is a Managing Director of CB Richard Ellis (Vietnam) Co., Ltd. He is responsible for servicing the property requirements of multi-national corporations in Vietnam and the implementation of property management systems into new and existing developments, including presentations to new clients. Over the past 15 years in Asia , he has been responsible for the sales and marketing, investment consulting to some major properties in and around Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Anne Aarnes, Assistant Administrator for Asia, USAID


Anne Aarnes is Acting Assistant to the Administrator in the Asia Bureau at USAID.  She previously served as the Senior Deputy Assistant to the Administrator in USAID’s Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, and also served as USAID’s Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Middle East from 2009-2010.  She was on the faculty of the National War College from 2010 – 2012.  Ms. Aarnes is a Career Minister in the Senior Foreign Service.

In her overseas assignments, Ms. Aarnes served as USAID Director in Pakistan, Jordan and the Central Asian Republics.  She also served as USAID Deputy Director in Egypt and Bangladesh.  Her other USAID overseas assignments included managing strategy and budget as well as democracy and health activities for USAID programs in Ukraine and Pakistan.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Aarnes served in Washington in USAID’s Policy and Program Coordination Bureau, the Asia Bureau, and the Office of Population.

Vo Tan Thanh, Director General, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Mr. ThanhMr. Thanh is Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VCCI), a Member of the VCCI Board of Management,  and Director General of VCCI – HCMC. He joined VCCI HCMC in 1992 and served in the International Relations Department and the Bureau for Employers’ Activities. Prior to joining VCCI, he worked for the General Import Export and Investment Corporation in Ho Chi Minh City. He speaks Vietnamese and Japanese fluently.





Free of charge for invited guests

Members: VND 650,000 | Non-members: VND 800,000

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Background Information (for your preparation and better understanding)

WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, Summary and Link to Full Text
U.S. – Korea FTA Chapter on Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (TPP FTA will be similar)
EU-Singapore FTA Chapter on Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (EU-VN FTA will be similar)

Trade Facilitation Support Program (World Bank, WTO, WCO and others)

Trade Facilitation Support Program (Fact Sheet)
Trade Facilitation Support Program (Press Release)
Trade Facilitation Support Program (Presentation)
World Bank Trade Facilitation Support Program (Web Site)

Strategic Necessity for Customs Reform and Trade Facilitation

Prime Minister Urges Customs Improvements, July 11, 2014

Finding New Sources of Sustained Growth: Vietnam’s Transport and Logistics, WB Report, Jan 2014
More efficient transport and logistics can play a significant role in increasing productivity. By making supply chains more predictable, better transport and logistics allow manufacturers, transportation carriers, logistics service providers, and trade regulators to minimize avoidable delays, thereby increasing output per unit of time while reducing the cost of doing business. Such competitiveness enhancements can better position Vietnam to benefit  from global demand, to better serve domestic markets, to attract investment, and to generate quality jobs.

Trade facilitation, value creation, and competitiveness : policy implications for Vietnam’s economic growth, WB Report, July 2013, 3 volumes

This three-volume report explores the role of trade facilitation and logistics in driving export and ultimately national competitiveness. It posits that this area of trade consists of three interrelated pillars: (i) transport infrastructure and logistics services; (ii) regulatory procedures for exports and imports; and (iii) supply chain organization. Transport infrastructure and logistics services relate to the physical aspects of trade flows. Logistics services include a variety of services, the most important of which are transportation, storage and consolidation. This summary is organized into nine sections. After the introduction, section two presents the conceptual framework for this study. The economic context under which trade facilitation is discussed is outlined in section three. It describes Vietnam’s evolving structure of trade and competitiveness. The country’s trade logistics is part of this structure and this is germane to understanding the key issues and solutions proposed. This is followed by discussion of the three pillars of trade facilitation in sections four to six and then section seven presents the institutional framework underpinning these pillars. Section eight then pulls together the diverse roles of government, such as setting policies, acting as regulator, and being the facilitator working in collaboration with key stakeholders. The conclusion, section nine, suggests a set of recommendations.

Vietnam – United States Comprehensive Partnership, July 2013
Tuyên bố chung của Chủ tịch nước Trương Tấn Sang và Tổng thống Hoa Kỳ Barack Obama, 23-07-2013.
Xác lập quan hệ Đối tác toàn diện Việt Nam-Hoa Kỳ, 23-07-2013.

Vietnam – United States Comprehensive Partnership to provide an overarching framework for advancing the relationship., and to contribute to peace, stability, cooperation, and prosperity in each country, in the region, and in the world. Commitment to conclude a comprehensive, high-standard Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as soon as possible.  A 21st-century TPP agreement will advance regional economic integration, further development objectives, and lead to the creation of jobs in the United States, Vietnam, and all TPP countries, while taking into account the diversity of the participants’ levels of development in the context of a comprehensive and balanced package. Comprehensive Partnership will create mechanisms for cooperation in areas including political and diplomatic relations, trade and economic ties, science and technology, education and training, environment and health, war legacy issues, defense and security, protection and promotion of human rights, and culture, sports, and tourism.

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