TERM OF REFERENCE Consultancy for mapping and identifying all existing Business Support Organizations in the export promotion ecosystem Component 3 of Swiss Trade Policy and Export Promotion Program

Position: Consultancy service to map and identify all current actors in the export promotion ecosystem including traditional public TSIs and private business service providers for Swiss Trade Policy and Export Promotion Program.

Time frame: 12/2021 – 1/2022

Requirement: National Consultant

Location: Hanoi


  1. Background of SWISSTRADE Program

Vietnam’s development record over the past 35 years of reform is remarkable. Economic reforms and trade liberalisation have spurred rapid economic growth and development. However, while trade has grown strongly in these years, framework conditions still need further improvement. A lack of strategic orientation in export promotion, and a still fragmented and nascent ecosystem to support companies leave many small businesses struggling to access international markets and international value chains.

On July 28, 2021, the Minister of Industry and Trade (MOIT) issued Decision No. 1869/QD-BCT approving the Project Document of the "Swiss Trade Policy and Export Promotion Program” (abbreviated as the SwissTrade Programme). The project is sponsored by the Swiss Government represented by the Swiss Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) from 2021 to 2024.

The Project’s overall objective is “improving trade performance and international competitiveness of SMEs through enhanced favorable framework condition for trade, public-private dialogue mechanisms, and a strengthened eco-system for dynamic export promotion” and its 03 specific objectives are: (1) Exports are facilitated because the framework conditions are favorable, meaning they are documented in a National Import – Export Strategy period 2021 – 2030; (2) The effect of the enhanced favorable framework conditions is more sustainable, because the private sector is thematically and financially engaged and collaborates with the Government through Public-Private Dialogue for Export Development.(3) Dynamic Business Support Organizations (BSOs) are enabled to deliver services to SMEs for exports and participation in global value chains.

The project’s Governing body is the Ministry of Industry and Trade, its owner is the Planning Department. The project’s implementing partners are the International Trade Centre – ITC (for Component 1 & 2) and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (for Component 3-Supporting MOIT in ICG Facility development and operation through funding and capacity building for dynamic BSOs initiatives to enhance SME’s competitiveness and participation in global value chains).


  1. Background of ICG Facility

Innovation and Competitiveness Grant Facility (ICG Facility) of the SwissTrade program is the initial outcome of component 3 which aims to strengthen the export-related services of dynamic BSOs by providing small grant projects for implementation. The ICG Facility finances tailor-made bottom-up small grant projects to be selected through a competitive process (call for proposals). The process will be organized along a two-step system with first, an Expression of Interest by submitting concept notes, then followed — after selection — by improving and fine-tuning the small grant project proposals. BSOs will get the opportunity to propose bottom-up projects along the ICG guidelines, defining among other the scope of the projects and the eligibility of BSOs and the selection criteria for small grant projects.

To improve the quality and quantity of exports from the private sector (mainly SMEs) in Vietnam, it will be key to map and identify all the current actors in the export development ecosystem including traditional public Trade Support Institutions (TSIs) and private business support organizations.

The SwissTrade program – Component 3 implemented by VIETRADE (MOIT) is looking for a local expert/consultant to conduct a research on mapping and identifying current actors in the export-related services. This TOR sets out the expected objective, the duties, responsibilities and required qualifications of the consultant.


  1. Objective

Under supervision of VIETRADE, the consultant will provide the technical support for VIETRADE to complete its current map of BSOs in the export – related services. They are including traditional public TSIs and private business support organizations, even though some BSOs are currently not mapped but very dynamic in their export-related services.


  1. Consultant duties and responsibilities
  • Review and conduct desk research: Materials and researches developed in the previous trade support strengthening project 2013-17; CUBE assessments conducted by ITC during the trade support strengthening project 2013-17; and inputs from the National Trade Promotion Program (NTP)
  • Map and identify all the current actors in the export development ecosystem including traditional public TSIs and private business support organizations.
  • Conduct field interviews with some potential BSOs in Hanoi, HCM city or other provinces (if needed)
  • Complete the report of existing map of BSOs in the export-related services.
  1. Expected outputs and timeline:

The consultant is expected to deliver a report of mapping current BSOs in the export development ecosystem (max 20 pages, excluding annex) with the below timeline:

  • Draft report: 15th January 2022
  • Final report: 30th January 2022
  1. Qualification and experience requirements
  • Have University degree in Economic, Commerce, Business Administration, international trade or related fields;
  • Have at least 5 years of experience in a field related to international marketing, sales promotion and export development at corporate level; experience in trade promotion is preferred.;
  • Understanding and experience of the EFTA FTA and Vietnam policies in FTA implementation;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience in proposal writing, developing guideline materials;
  • Having experience working with BSOs and SMEs
  • Excellent writing skills in both English and Vietnamese.
  1. Application

Documents to be submitted are:

  • Cover Letter (max. 1 page);
  • CV including list of references;
  • Language: English.

Interested individuals or teams are requested to send the application documents to duan3.vietrade@gmail.com

Deadline for submission is 30th December, 2021