The agricultural sector offers an immense economic potential for development in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam. However, due to informal trade channels and the lack of capacity the revenue in agricultural trade between these countries and China remains low.

In all three countries, SCSI cooperates closely with partners and GIZ projects on site to improve private sector engagement in regional value chains. Together with partners in the countries, SCSI compiled step-by-step export guidelines for specific fresh fruits from Cambodia and Vietnam to China. In Lao PDR colleagues are drafting similar guidelines for the ASEAN market. The guidelines were highly appreciated by the business community in all three countries and are now supporting capacity building for respective exporters as well as fostering the public-private dialogues.

On 05-06 December, SCSI invited main partners from the three countries for a regional workshop in Beijing to bundle SCSI’s approaches within its three Southeast Asian focus countries and set a platform for regional knowledge exchange.

The meeting brought together experts and partners from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam who worked on the export guidelines. The analysis on respective methodological approaches regarding the compilation and utilisation of the guidelines highlighted good practices. The train-of-trainer approach in Vietnam as well as a training and study trip with partners in Cambodia were emphasised.

The discussion on country specific challenges in export processes to China showed that a representation in China facilitates better access to the market. Here, the example of VIETRADE branches in China were taken as a best practice for reference to form a business platform in China engaging all three countries.

The outcomes of the meeting are currently compiled in a report. They will be shared with stakeholders involved and support GIZ SCSI in identifying further intervention areas in 2019 and beyond.