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UNCTAD to host international workshops in Hanoi late June

Viet Nam is currently one of the frontrunners in the development of BioTrade value chains worldwide. Today, sales of Vietnamese products derived from native medicinal and aromatic plants have reached about USD 100 Million. BioTrade companies in Viet Nam so far have mostly focused on harvesting, cultivation, processing and commercialisation of biodiversity-based products under sustainable environmental, social and economic criteria.

However, several companies in Viet Nam are already moving upward in the value chain and are starting to engage in situ reproduction of wild specimens and R&D on existing plants for further improvement. As companies move upward in the value chain and get into R&D, the probability of triggering provisions under the Protocol and national ABS regulations is higher. Therefore, there is a huge need to raise awareness on the interlinkages between ABS and BioTrade and to explain policy makers and regulators the importance of facilitating legal ABS compliance by BioTrade companies. Furthermore, it is also essential for the companies to be aware of possible obstacle they may have to overcome when reaching for broader, high end market to export their products, especially in highly competitive markets like US, EU or Japan.

By the end of June 2016, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in collaboration with Vietnam Biodiversity Conservation Administration and BioTrade Implementation Group, will organize two workshops in Hanoi.

The first workshop entitled “Identification of barriers to the trade of Biodiversity based and BioTrade based products” is taking place from 23 – 24 June. Attended by representatives from Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, and national enterprises, the workshop aims at presenting its participants with non-tariff measures Vietnamese manufacturers will have to face when exporting natural ingredient products to international markets.

Saved for the dates from 27 to 29 June, the goal of the workshop “Addressing the intersection between the Nagoya Protocol, access and benefit sharing (ABS) rules and BioTrade” is to provide a broader understanding on the intersection between ABS and BioTrade for policy makers, regulators and interested businesses in Viet Nam. The workshop will also assist national authorities and other stakeholders in the identification of policy options for the implementation of certain aspects of the Nagoya Protocol in a BioTrade-friendly manner. This workshop is co-organised by UNCTAD, the Viet Nam Biodiversity Conservation Agency and BIG with the support of SECO.  

These workshops are the chance for all stakeholders of the natural ingredients sector in Vietnam to be exposed to the globalized reality and to consult with international experts on how to prepare themselves, given the world integration is coming close and reaching every corner.


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