ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU

ATR and ASSIST Outreach Event (Vietnam)

HANOI, 27 July 2021 

73 participants from the Vietnamese private sector, among others, representatives from the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC), Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), SMEs Promotion Center, Hanoi Women’s Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (HAWASME), SMEs Promotion Center, SME business owners, and many other trade association and business organizations in Vietnam, attended an outreach event on the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR, available at and the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST, available at on 27 July 2021. The event was organized by the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the European Union (ARISE Plus), in partnership and collaboration with VWEC, and held virtually.

“Private sector engagement is a key driver to regional economic integration and also important for purposes of gender equality – women’s participation in the economy is essential for sustainable development and economic growth,” said Mr. Jesus Lavina, Counsellor-Deputy Head of Cooperation Section of the European Union Delegation in Hanoi. He further added that enhancement of trade facilitation and private sector engagement are high priorities in the EU’s technical assistance initiatives for ASEAN. He encouraged the Vietnamese private sector, especially SMEs, to take full advantage of these two primary tools of ASEAN public-private cooperation and trade facilitation.

Mrs. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Chairwoman of VWEC, Founder of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) and AWEN focal point for Vietnam, said “The potential in intra-regional trade is still huge. However, Vietnamese enterprises are facing many difficulties in their activities, such as investment, doing business in the ASEAN market, related to information transparency, regulations of member countries and settlement of cross-border trade issues in ASEAN. We highly appreciate the initiatives of the ARISE Plus project on the ATR and ASSIST tools, which will contribute to promoting trade facilitation within ASEAN.”

This Outreach Event will be followed by the ‘ASSIST Train-the-Trainers Workshop’ on 30 July 2021. This training workshop is designed to benefit and help participants to develop, organize and deliver training modules on how to use ASSIST. Participants of the training workshop are expected to become trainers and conduct future capacity building exercises on ASSIST to the benefit of their Vietnamese colleagues, members of their trade associations/business organizations, and fellow entrepreneurs.

The ARISE Plus Regional Project and the EU remain committed to supporting the effective implementation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) through improved transparency and trade facilitation, by assisting ASEAN to advance the development of the ATR in all ASEAN Member States. The ARISE Plus Regional Project will also remain available to work with the private sector to advance ASSIST by holding regular outreach and awareness creation events and training of trainers, in cooperation with the respective private sector stakeholders, gearing towards greater intra-ASEAN trade and regional economic integration.

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