To foster knowledge and experience exchange through peer-to-peer learning, the “Regional Workshop on Facilitating Trade for Agricultural Goods in ASEAN” was organised on 29 – 30 July 2019 in Da Nang, Viet Nam under the GIZ project Facilitating Trade for Agricultural Goods in ASEAN (FTAG) in collaboration with the Support of Regional Economic Cooperation in Asia (SRECA) project and hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) of Vietnam. The workshop was attended by project Steering Committee Members and representatives from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and GIZ.

The workshop updated on outcomes and achievements of FTAG project and introduced SRECA for possible future support on regional sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) activities to complement FTAG interventions as the project will be completed in December 2019. Result from the 7th Meeting of ASEAN SPS Points (ASCP) and the 9th Meeting of ASEAN Coordinating Committee on SPS (AC-SPS) on 7-9 May 2019 were presented including recommendations to ASEAN submitted by FTAG at the 9th AC-SPS.

The workshop also served to share experiences and lessons learned in the process of developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on plant quarantine procedures by the Department of Agriculture Thailand. During the session on SOP by Thailand, the benefits and importance of SOP was shared. It was developed in Thailand with the aim to improve work operations of plant quarantine officers.  Cambodia envisages to work on SOP for export inspection and Vietnam on SOP for exportation of fruits to Thailand. The output of the group work also identified the timeline and support needed for SOP development.

Within its Southeast Asia component to strengthen economic cooperation and agricultural exports from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam to China, SRECA can build up on respective FTAG approaches regarding regional SPS knowledge exchange. The project aims to further foster exchange of best practices within the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA).