EU – MUTRAP: An effective cooperation model between the EU and Vietnam

10:48 | 25/12/2017 Cooperation

At the closing ceremony of the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP) in Hanoi on December 12, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said the project has helped Vietnam further integrate into the global and regional trading systems while promoting Vietnam-EU trade and investment relations.

At the closing ceremony - Photo: VNA

Director of the EU-MUTRAP Management Board Bui Huy Son said the EU-MUTRAP has inherited and furthered the achievements of The Multilateral Trade Policy Support (MUTRAP I, II, III) - the largest and longest trade related technical assistance program that the EU has provided for Vietnam (2001 - 2012).

After 5 years of operation, the Project has published 76 reports and researches, organized nearly 200 workshops/seminars, more than 100 training courses in 31 provinces/cities with the participation of more than 23,700 people; supported more than 100 organizations including Ministries, Agencies, Departments, Associations, WTO Centre, Universities in the North, the Central and the South of Vietnam.

The Project's website has welcomed more than 1 5 million hits and more than 100,000 downloads of documents, etc. These are the results of the great effort of the Project Management Unit as well as the close cooperation of stakeholders.

Through six grants (sub-project) under the framework of the EU - MUTRAP, the assistance from the European Union has reached out to small - and medium - sized enterprises: supporting handicraft SMEs to establish sustainable design and brand, promoting the business performance of Vietnamese enterprises under the support of trade nuclei groups and consulting team, raising awareness and issuing certification of fair trade, better compliance with technical standards and regulations on leather and footwear to the EU, developing the value chain for dragon fruits in Long An and Binh Thuan Province to boost export to the EU.

Director of the EU-MUTRAP Management Board Bui Huy Son presents his report at the event - Photo: VNA

Unlike previous projects backed by the EU, EU-MUTRAP endorsed improvements in investment, environment and labour policies and shifted from supporting negotiations of international trade deals to supporting the implementation of international trade commitments.

Specific support activities were provided for Vietnamese seafood, garment, leather shoes, coffee and cocoa, Son added.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong also lauded contributions of the project and expressed his belief that a new phase of cooperation will be open for both sides with numerous projects to fully tap benefits of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Ambassador Bruno Angelet, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, stressed that bilateral trade between Vietnam and the EU has increased significantly after the EVFTA took effect.

Thanks to EU-MUTRAP, Vietnamese exporters were updated to the latest market information and knowledge about food safety for fruit, vegetable, seafood and honey.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, who is head of the Government negotiation team for the EVFTA, said the successful EU-MUTRAP project wrapped up the “MUTRAP” journey as a model of efficient cooperation between Vietnam and the EU.

The EU - MUTRAP Project is the proof of the significant assistance that the European Union has provided for Vietnam, supporting Vietnam to integrate deeper into the regional and global trade system, promoting the EU - Vietnam trade and investment relation.

Ngoc Quang