Expert in Trade Promotion

Immediate Opening
Consultants, Short-Term
Vietnam and Home-Based
Commensurate with Experience 
Immediate Opening

Project Name: Raising SME awareness of the CPTPP in Vietnam

Post Title: Expert in Trade Promotion

Deadline to Apply: November 25, 2019


Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM) provides technical assistance to Official Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries to maximize the development impacts of trade and investment. Over seven years (2018-2025), EDM will invest CAD $16.5 million to support Canada’s developing country trading partners to negotiate, implement, and benefit from and adapt to trade and investment agreements with Canada.

EDM is a demand-driven project that will benefit potential partners – including governments, local private sector groups, and local civil society organizations – through capacity building and technical advisory support on policy reform issues that have a high potential to reduce poverty and gender inequalities, and support progress in trade and investment agreement negotiations.

Vietnam has been identified by Global Affairs Canada as a priority country for technical assistance, in the context of the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Despite rapid economic growth since the introduction of the “doi moi” (renovation) reform policy in 1986, Vietnam faces daunting challenges:

  • growth in total factor productivity has slowed;
  • the demographic dividend is being eroded by low-wage competitors;
  • trade costs remain comparatively high;
  • its exports remain labour-intensive and low value-added;
  • the benefits of economic growth are unevenly spread among its 58 provinces – 15% of the population, living in remote or rural areas, carry the burden of 50% of national poverty;
  • women are disproportionately represented in subsistence farming, in low-skilled, precarious employment and in the informal economy, and;
  • women remain underrepresented in senior management and the political class.

Implementation of the CPTPP also represents a significant challenge to Vietnam – a commitment to implement a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art trade disciplines that exceed the obligations of WTO agreements. Notwithstanding the suspension of certain measures after the US withdrawal (largely measures affecting intellectual property rights), the CPTPP calls upon Vietnam to further open its market, adopt stronger governance and regulatory practices, expand labour rights and meet higher environmental standards, provide greater protection to investments, and foster enhanced inclusiveness in trade. Implementing the many new obligations imposed by CPTPP membership will require support from CPTPP and development partners.

An EDM mission to Vietnam, conducted in November 2018, identified many technical assistance needs, including in trade policy capacity-building. Subsequent discussions with the Multilateral Trade Policy Department of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (the coordinating agency for EDM assistance projects in Vietnam) and the project leads for individual applicant organizations, established priority assistance projects for 2019-20.  Among the priorities expressed by Vietnam was support to raise awareness of the obligations and opportunities created by the CPTPP.

This assistance is consistent with the EDM Country Needs Assessment Plan for Vietnam, Mandate 2: Export Development Training for SMEs. The assistance is also aligned with the EDM Performance Measurement Framework, including Immediate Outcome 1320: Increased awareness and skills of non-government actor, especially women and girls and other underrepresented groups such as SMEs and Indigenous peoples in taking advantage of trade and investment opportunities arising from trade and investment agreements with Canada.

The direct beneficiaries of this technical assistance will be 500 Vietnamese businesses, including SMEs and underrepresented groups, local governments, and associations. Many more will benefit from the CPTPP business guide and related social media products. Their success in accessing the benefits of the CPTPP, through increased trade and investment, will contribute to job creation and help sustain Vietnam’s rapid economic development.

Description of Assignment:

Technical assistance has been requested by the Multilateral Trade Policy Department (MTP), Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), to survey business awareness of the CPTPP and to design and deliver training courses and public information tools to increase awareness of the obligations and opportunities created by the agreement. 

This technical assistance will include:

  • In consultation with MTP, MOIT, the Consultant, will design and conduct a survey to assess Vietnamese business awareness and understanding of CPTPP obligations and opportunities.
  • Design and conduct a round table of national government officials responsible for the promotion of women owned businesses, and the integration of marginalised groups, relevant national associations, and businesses owned or operated by women or indigenous groups. The roundtable will seek to identify specific needs of these underrepresented groups in accessing the benefits of trade, and how to adapt the public information and training tools.
  • The preparation of a business guide designed to raise awareness and understanding of the key obligations and opportunities of the CPTPP, and the design of related social media products.
  • The consultant will design and deliver three training courses, based on the findings of the business survey and roundtable – one targeted to the business community, one to local government officials and one to underrepresented groups. Each of these training sessions will also serve as a train the trainer opportunity. In collaboration with MOIT, the consultant will identify relevant government officials, business support organizations, business associations, and academic institutions from which the trainers will be identified. It is anticipated that the three training courses will be delivered in three regions as identified by MOIT.

Technical Expert Profile/Expertise Required

  • Applicants for this assignment must have extensive experience in trade policy and a thorough knowledge and understanding of the CPTPP, particularly in respect of the market access provisions.
  • Experience in trade promotion and export market development in either the public or private sector is required.
  • Experience in the design and delivery of training on trade promotion and export development.
  • Experience in the delivery of trade related technical assistance.
  • Fluency in Vietnamese would be an asset. 
  • The EDM includes a core focus on gender and social inclusion as well as on environmental issues associated with trade activities. The approach to TA related to both of these topics is included in guidance documents that are available to both TA applicants and Technical Experts. Integrating such analysis will form a core part of the mandate of the TA provider therefore any prior experience in the provision of TA on gender equality and social inclusion and environment will be viewed as a strong asset


December 2019 to March 2021


  • Activity Workplan – this plan will include an overall implementation plan, performance measurement approach, including specific performance measures to evaluate the impact of the project, activity timelines, level of effort, and proposed budget
  • Mission plan(s) – including a mission schedule, list of meetings and planned activities
  • Roundtable activity plan and report
  • Draft and final version of survey and survey report
  • Proposed structure and content of the business guide
  • Final draft of the business guide
  • Training schedule and modules in both English and Vietnamese
  • Final activity report as per EDM report guidelines below:


On conclusion of the activities, the consultant will prepare a final report as per EDM report guidelines, including:

  1. General context and broad objective(s) of the activity
  2. A summary of the approach and specific activities
  3. Expected and unanticipated challenges in the delivery of the activities
  4. Outlines results, including the immediate outcomes and the anticipated longer-term benefits
  5. Sustainability of results
  6. Contribution to gender equality, social inclusion, and sustainable development
  7. Recommended performance management framework and specific performance measures
  8. Recommended next steps in the implementation of the CPTPP in Vietnam, including future EDM deployments. 
  9. Lessons learned for future EDM interventions

To apply:

  1. Describe your specific approach to implementing this TA
  2. Describe your project management and monitoring strategy for the implementation of the activities
  3. Indicate all personnel who are being proposed to implement this project and what their roles and responsibilities will be. Please include all their CVs
  4. Provide estimated level of effort and consulting rates for consultants implementing the activities

Please apply by November 25, 2019 sending a cover letter and application outlining details above:

  1. Here, on our Career Page and,
  2. To Vicki Campbell, EDM Program Manager, at

Please note that while we thank all applicants, we are only contacting short-listed candidates.
Only non-shortlisted applicants who applied through our Career Page will remain in our database for future opportunities.

About us

With more than 34 years’ experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec, Paris, France, Pretoria, South Africa, and London, United Kingdom, Nairobi, Kenya in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.