Advisor on Trade Information and Advocacy at ARISE Plus Cambodia Program, GOPA Worldwide Consultants
Course: Master of Global Food and Agricultural Business
University: The University of Adelaide
Thanks to the Australia Awards Scholarship and the Government of Australia for the opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree in Australia, where is home to world-class education. With the qualifications and skills earned from Australia, Youssey could advance his professional career and most importantly, contribute to Cambodia’s development, particularly in private sector development, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), trade and export, agricultural value chain, qualitative and quantitative research, Covid-19 response, among others.
Youssey is currently serving as the Advisor (consultant) on Trade Information and Advocacy with GOPA Worldwide Consultants under the ARISE Plus Cambodia Program.
ARISE = ASEAN Regional Integration Support – Cambodia Trade Related Assistance. ARISE Plus Cambodia is the national Cambodian component of the ARISE Plus Regional Programme that aims to support greater connectivity and economic integration between Cambodia and the rest of ASEAN through implementing the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 and strengthening institutional capacity. Read more: https://www.cambodia-ariseplus.asean.org/about-us
His role focuses on two main areas:
- Export Information Events and Publications: Together with the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham), develop and deliver a series of export-related information events, called the “SME Export Talks”. The events are organized fortnightly with topics focusing on SMEs and Exports.
- Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) with the focus on SMEs and Exports: Together with the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC), design and conduct a series of consultation workshops with SMEs aiming at advocating export related issues through the Cambodia’s high-level PPD, called the Government-Private Sector Forum (G-PSF). The same approach also applies for the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) and the Battambang Chamber of Commerce.
In parallel, he also carried out a research consulting project on Customs Transit and Perishable Goods for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in collaboration with the General Directorate of Customs and Excise (GDCE). In this mission, he developed a comprehensive report by assessing the current practices and identifying current gaps in Cambodia in accordance to the World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreements (WTO TFA). To produce this report, the research involved visits to customs border checkpoints with Thailand (Poipet and Stung Bot), Vietnam (Bavet, Chrey Thom), and Loa PDR (Trapeang Kriel), Sihanouk Ville seaport, Phnom Penh International Airport, dry ports and special economic zones at the aforementioned borders and Phnom Penh.
Prior to this, Youssey worked as the Technical Lead in the E-Commerce, Trade, MSME Development and Private Sector Partnership Portfolio at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Under the aforementioned portfolio, he was in charge of eight different initiatives mainly focusing on Covid-19 response, such as domestic and cross-border e-commerce, customs sanitary trade, small grant for MSMEs in their digital transformation, agri-tech promotion among small-farm holders, to name but a few.
Before UNDP, Youssey took a role as the Technical Advisor on Economic Cooperation and MSME Development at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH right after his return from Australia in June 2019.
He supported two regional projects for the Cambodia component – with a focus on facilitating trade for Cambodian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to export selected agricultural products to China, the European Union, and the ASEAN market.
Through his work, Youssey has involved and supported some initiatives in response to the current Covid-19 crisis. Those initiatives include, but not limited to, the following:
- Support and encourage the public partner, such as the GDA, to response and adapt to change. While some partners are not familiar with digital tools and/or not brave enough to implement virtual activities yet, they are encouraged and supported to do so. At the beginning, a virtual workshop was jointly organised and hosted as a demonstration. Consequently, partners are more confident in conducting similar activities.
- Distribute weekly updates about Covid-19 impacts on Trade with China to respective public and private partners in Cambodia as multipliers, such as the General Directorate of Agriculture, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia Logistics Association, Cambodia Women Entrepreneur Association, and among others. With support from the project team sitting in the Beijing Office, relevant updates are uploaded into the project website with key contents focusing on policies and measures imposed by China authorities, trade related policies, logistics, e-commerce businesses, etc. Ones can access through this link.
- Make online courses accessible to Cambodian SMEs and respective government partners. Restriction in physical meetings directly impacts on the implementation of the project’s planned activities. Thus, the project team, in coordination with local and regional partners, searches for any possible ways to implement activities contributing to the project goals. One of the activities was to participatorily select two online courses from the International Trade Centre. The courses are to be translated into Khmer language and digitally delivered to key beneficiaries of the project in Cambodia with arrangement and coordination by Youssey.
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