The project “Support of Regional Economic Cooperation in Asia” (SRECA) deals with the core problem of the missing organizational and technical capacities of relevant local institutions in order to improve the respective conditions for agricultural trade. The target audience are owners and employees of foreign trade-oriented companies in the focus countries Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia and Vietnam, especially from the small and medium-sized sector with focus on regional agricultural trade. The intermediaries through which the project reaches its target group, include specialists and executives from the public sector in the focus countries (e.g. trade and agriculture-related departments of the respective ministries, customs, state trade promotion agencies) as well as the constituted economy (chambers, associations).

The aim of the project is to create the conditions for regional and global agricultural trade in the focus countries. One important component that contributes to the achievement of the project’s objectives is the successful support of the partners in public sector and constituted economy in building export promotion services for their small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

SRECA worked with sequa in March & April 2021 to organise a training series on “setting up export promotion services in the agri-food sectors” and a virtual study tour afterwards, the training and virtual study tour received positive feedbacks and led to more interests in country specific coachings. From August 2022 to January 2023, sequa was contracted by SRECA for an in-depth country-specific coachings with pro-active Business Support Organisations from Cambodia, Mongolia and Vietnam which performed well in the first training series and expressed interest in an individual coaching.

The Training and coaching sessions were planned and implemented in close coordination with the following institutions:

Following up with the first training series, this time, the country specific coaching was designed to help participants use the knowledge gained in previous projects to now create a first product. Specifically, the expected outcomes include:

– Cambodia: A report on EU Market Requirements

− Mongolia: Market Intelligence, Factsheets

− Vietnam: Matchmaking at Biofach

The training and coaching sessions were planned and implemented in close coordination with each country institutions. The session formats include: planning sessions with the BSOs, joint workshops, jour fixe coaching sessions, matchmaking at international expos. Sequa and delegates from Mongolia also utilised online co-editing space for coach and delegates to exchange efficiently.

Result wise, by the end of the coaching series, GDA from Cambodia shifted their focus and presented a solid concept note for a dissemination workshop to be held in the longan off-season, more specifically May 2023. Mongolia produced 7 market guidelines and 7 market templates for general market information and product-specific information with a focus on the EU market. VOAA and CRED received support from sequa on their attendance in Biofach 2022, and developed a matchmaking concept for an event in February 2023.

With the coaching series coming to an end, together with the Cold Chain training series with China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association, SRECA facilitated a practice-oriented agri-trade promotion capacity building training and coaching series for stakeholders in Cambodia, Mongolia, Laos and Vietnam.