Consultant – Vietnam – Country Representative


Request for Proposal

  • To: General Public
  • From: CIPE – Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation
  • Subject: RFP for GATF Country Representative – Vietnam


  • RFP Issue Date: November 7, 2018
  • RFP Closing Date: December 7, 2018
  • RFP Closing Time: 5:00pm EST
  • Performance Period: January 2019-December 2019

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy and an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Since 1983, CIPE has been working from the ground up with partners to find locally driven solutions to problems that affect the lives of millions of people.  CIPE believes that democracy is at its strongest when the private sector is flourishing. Working with local partners that include business associations, chambers of commerce, think tanks, universities and advocacy organizations, CIPE is helping create the enabling environment for business to thrive. CIPE’s key program areas include enterprise ecosystems, business advocacy, democratic governance, and anti-corruption & ethics. CIPE delivers program excellence globally ( CIPE has a network of 8 established project offices and a number of representatives worldwide. CIPE is a public charity, tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Vendors are encouraged to read this RFP in its entirety (including any and all attachments), including specific instructions and requirements. Issuance of this solicitation does not, in any way, obligate  CIPE to award a contract, nor will CIPE pay for any costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a proposal. The agreement resulting from this RFP will be provided to the most responsive Offeror(s) whose offer will be the most advantageous in terms of cost, functionality, and other factors as specified in this RFP.

The Assignment

The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is a public-private platform that leverages business expertise, leadership, and resources to support effective trade facilitation reforms while fostering broad-based opportunity and economic growth in developing and least developed countries. It is led by the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum and the Center for International Private Enterprise – in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The financial support for the Alliance activities is provided by the governments of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, and Germany.

Trade facilitation is a key national priority for Vietnam’s government. Since 2014, changes in legal and regulatory frameworks have significantly simplified customs procedures and increased transparency.  Yet many shipments are held within congested Vietnamese ports simply due to a lengthy release process. Vietnam’s hold rates for imports and exports remain among the highest in Asia. The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is working with the government and the private sector to implement a modern customs bond system for the conditional release of goods. Vietnam will be the first country in Asia with such an all-encompassing system. Traders will be able to purchase bonds to guarantee their payment of duties and taxes as well as regulatory compliance, allowing customs to expedite release of their goods.

The project involves: (1) analyzing how the new system will enhance Vietnam’s competitiveness in global supply chains; (2) designing a bond management software module that will interface with Vietnam’s existing eCustoms system; (3) developing a customs bond pricing model in consultation with insurers; (4) providing training for customs and other government officials, as well as private sector stakeholders; and (5) supporting the legal and regulatory reforms required to implement the project.

Scope of Services

The required services are described below. Proposals are expected to be comprehensive and include the information indicated below. Offerors may send any additional supplemental material as part of proposal package. Please be sure to respond to each of the elements requested.

The Country Representative (CR) will be a member of CIPE’s Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation Team, collaborating closely with CIPE Trade staff, other members of the GATF, government and private sector stakeholders, as well as other technical staff working on the Vietnam project. The CR will be required to reside in Vietnam for at least 80% of the year during project period, unless otherwise agreed by CIPE.

The CR will be responsible for developing and coordinating the implementation of the GATF project in Vietnam, in line with the Proposal approved by the GATF Steering Group as well as in compliance with CIPE’s internal and GATF donor regulations.

The CR will identify, network, and build strategic partnerships with other organizations operating in Vietnam, including donor governments, international organizations, multinational companies, etc.

He/she will provide technical and methodological support to the implementation team in matters of trade facilitation, as well as actively leading in the development of the implementation strategy for the project.

The CR will ensure the smooth running of the project by coordinating all in-country actors, and he/she will liaise and advice both private sector as well as government stakeholders, media, other organizations and partners, etc.


Strategic Development and Implementation

  • Provide leadership in the development and implementation of the GATF Vietnam Project strategy, in line with the overall CIPE Trade Team Strategic Plan and the context in the country/region
  • Facilitate the alignment of the project to strategic organizational priorities and accountability mechanisms provided in the GATF Secretariat work plan
  • Provide leadership for the dissemination of the GATF model, vision, and mission at the country level
  • Keep abreast on socio-economic and political changes in the environment and undertake timely strategic review of the project strategy, ensuring continued relevance in the rapidly changing environment
  • Maintain close communication with CIPE and the GATF Secretariat on relevant factors and changes in the environment


  • Represent CIPE and the GATF in Vietnam and be responsible for the management of host country relations and CIPE/GATF interests in dealing with government, international, and local organizations, multinational companies, etc.
  • Represent CIPE/GATF in strategic meetings, conferences, forums and other public events and contribute towards consolidating and raising the profile of CIPE/GATF
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with local stakeholders and networks
  • Maintain good partnerships and relations at national and international levels
  • Promote CIPE’s organizational identity and capacity to all stakeholders and partners in Vietnam, and ensure CIPE remains relevant to the changing technical needs of the country

Program Development and Management

  • Oversee and coordinate the project portfolio to ensure the highest level of project quality and accountability, while fostering continuity through local capacity building and the development of innovative implementation strategies
  • Ensure that participatory systems and processes for monitoring activities, results, and any other assessment at project level are in place and involves the team and partners
  • Provide continuous monitoring and support to the in-country team
  • Coordinate the production of timely quality project reports in line with CIPE and Secretariat requirements

Trade Facilitation Technical Advisory

  • Provide technical advice as needed on issues of trade facilitation, providing comparative perspectives to other regional markets
  • Provide technical advice on international standards and good practices related to trade facilitation, particularly those related to WCO standards
  • Provide capacity building in specific technical aspects of trade facilitation to Vietnamese officials
  • Assist key government officials in the implementation and understanding of key technical problems associated with the implementation of the project

Information, Communication, and learning

  • Ensure that the project is maintaining a coordinated and agreed information exchange both internally and in its dealing with external parties
  • Ensure that key projects documents are internally shared and agreed upon before communicating to donors and other external parties
  • Ensure that all communication infrastructures are set up in the project and smooth information flow is maintained
  • Ensure that experiences and best practices are documented and shared across the organization
  • Ensure support of all country personnel to the Monitoring and Evaluation Function


The Country Representative is under direct supervision of the CIPE GATF Chief of Operations.


The Country Representative will work in collaboration with staff in various sections at CIPE and the GATF Secretariat


  • Supervision: Works independently under the supervision of the CIPE GATF Chief of Operationsand within approved strategy and policy guidelines
  • Decision making: Has full responsibility of decisions at country level in line with approved policy
  • Responsibility over assets: Shared responsibility for the country budget, all organizational resources and assets
  • Responsibility over staff: All staff – Supervises the work of all in-country personnel, including other consultants
  • Reporting: Providing regular reports to the Alliance Secretariat on project, and coordinating with M&E staff to accurately monitor the project.


Education and Experience

  • Minimum bachelor’s degree or equivalent in an applicable field, with applicable technical or professional training and/or certification (e.g. customs brokerage, import/export licensing, freight forwarding, etc.).

Work Experience

  • Minimum 7 to 10 years of experience working in the field of international trade and/or trade facilitation, preference given to experience in the areas of import/export procedures, audits, and pre-audits;
  • Progressive experience of technical assistance and capacity building project implementation (at least 5 years) in the field of trade facilitation;
  • Experience working with governmental or intergovernmental donor-funded projects;
  • Proven technical knowledge of trade facilitation issues affecting private sector activities, as well as international standards and good practices;
  • Demonstrable network of contacts and high standing in his/her profession with proven record of building and managing effective partnerships and strategic alliances.

Other Attributes

  • Fluent English speaker;
  • Experience in raising the profile of an organization, strategically networking with government agencies, donors, private sector actors, as well as other international entities;
  • Experience working remotely with limited supervision, under tight deadlines
  • Experience working in emerging economies
  • Experience leading/participating in large capacity building projects in trade facilitation


  • Experience working for other similar projects in regions other than Southeast Asia
  • Experience working in Vietnam on trade related projects
  • Experience working with USAID and WEF funded projects
  • Knowledge of and experience working with ASEAN-specific trade facilitation matters (i.e. rules of origin, valuation, and classification). Strong preference given to specific experience in Vietnam
  • Customs Broker/clearing agent license or equivalent strongly preferred

Selection Criteria

CIPE will rate proposals based on the following factors: (1) Responsiveness to the requirements set forth in this request for proposals; (2) relevant performance and work experience; (3) technical expertise; and (4) cost (CIPE reserves the right to award to the bidder that presents the best value to the interest of the project as determined solely by CIPE in its absolute discretion).

Item Requirement Points Available

1) Responsiveness



Minimum submission requirements met


2) Past Performance



Experience in performing comparable engagements (references)




3) Technical expertise



Educational and technical training/experience matches technical knowledge requirements


4) Cost Proposal


The review of the cost proposal shall determine if the overall costs proposed are reasonable




Total 100


Event Date of Completion
RFP released November 9, 2018
Proposal due date December 7, 2018
Anticipated decision and selection December 14, 2018

Proposal Specifications

Please submit the following documents for consideration:

  1. Cover letter indicating interest
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Past Performance References
  4. Cost Proposal

Proposals, including any attachments, should be sent electronically in PDF format to: by 5:00PM eastern standard time, December 7, 2018. Include in the subject line: GATF COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE, VIETNAM. We will not accept proposals received by fax.