From 24 February to 03 March 2017 the GIZ SCSI programme successfully conducted a fact-finding mission to Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam (CLV). As part of the mission two workshops on “ACFTA – Recent developments in exporting Agricultural Goods to China” were held in Hanoi and Phnom Penh.

The ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) has come into effect in 2010 eliminating a large part of tariffs in the trade with China but the Agreement stays underutilised. One component of the GIZ SCSI programme aims to support the private sectors in unlocking the business potentials from regional integration processes with China. Its objective is to enhance the involvement of especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) from the CLV countries in regional cooperation within exporting agricultural goods to China.

The fact-finding mission and workshops of SCSI were closely coordinated with the respective GIZ country offices in cooperation with GIZ programmes on site. During meetings with relevant ministerial departments and agencies as well as private sector associations and chambers a number of highly promising areas of intervention where identified.

The workshop in Hanoi was successfully conducted jointly with VIETRADE and brought together more than 40 participants from mainly the private as well as the public sector. Another workshop in Phnom Penh gathered 18 participants from respective ministries and SME representatives. On both events GIZ expert Edmund W. Sim presented on recent legal developments and barriers within ACFTA. In addition, the workshop in Vietnam was supported by an in-depth presentation from VIETRADE.

The gained insights on obstacles to trade for SMEs from the CLV countries will guide the SCSI programme’s work 2017-2019 with its partners on site.