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VLA 2015 - 2020: A term of innovation on foreign affairs

Implementing the foreign affair policies by the Party and the Government “Multilateralizing, diversifying international economic relations, avoiding being dependent on a market, a partner…” in the Term VII (2015-2020), the Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA) developed works of foreign affairs and local, regional, international sector linkage effectively, having important achivements.

In 2019, VLA successfully hosted the 30th AFFA Annual Meeting in Ho Chi Minh City

Signing cooperation agreements with domestic and foreign organizations and enterprises

Since May 1994, VLA has become an official member of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders (FIATA) - the only representative of Vietnam in the international organization. Since November 1999, VLA has become a member of the ASEAN Freight Forwarding Association (AFFA). FIATA and AFFA are the two international and regional official organizations in freight forwarding and logistics. Locally, VLA has been an official member of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) since April 1994- a basic for international cooperation and expansion of domestic relations for its members’ benefits and developments.

During the Term VII (from November 2015), the Association signed 15 MOUs with foreign vocational associations and enterprises, 6 cooperation agreements with domestic vocational associations and enterprises, 10 cooperation agreement with the State’s managerial agencies and 11 cooperation agreements with Vietnam’s universities, institutes and colleges. These cooperation agreement showed active relationship promotion, linkage and implementation of the Party and the Government’s way of foreign affairs, creating legal framework that facilitate members’ business activities and improving its stature domestically and in the world.

Holding and participating events of international level

VLA has had steps to promote cooperation with FIATA, AFFA and UNESCAP by asking to host conferences in Vietnam, participating conferences and giving ideas to these international organizations. In the Term VII, the Association leaders fully participated in international activites as RAP-FIATA in Busan and Bangkok; FIATA World Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2017); Delhi, India (2018) and in South Africa (2019); participating in FIATA’s professional boards and working groups as MTI, CAI, ALBM and FLA; having closer relationship with FIATA in fields of information exchange and career propaganda.

At FIATA World Congress 2019, VLA had many exchange activities that brought good feelings to the host country and other national delegations

At the beginning of 2019, the Transport Department led by Dao Trong Khoa - VLA’s Deputy President successfully held Working Group Sea’s meeting, belonging to FIATA’s Transport Department (MTI) in HCMC. Especially in 2019, VLA boldly applied candidacy for hosting FIATA World Congress 2023, when it was held in South Africa. In FIATA World Congress 2019, VLA had an exhibition stand on Vietnam logistics with lots of exchange activities, which gained good appreciations from the host country and other countries.

In 2020, the Association asked to host RAP conference in Danang and was chosen by FIATA/ UNESCAP. However, it was postpone due to the pandemic of COVID-19. Especially, FIATA President Babar Badat had a letter congratulating the Association printed in VLA White Book 2019 on the 25th Anniversary of VLA “FIATA thanks VLA for wonderful cooperation in recent time”. The Association successfully held professional workshops for the three organization, especially certificate-given FIATA training courses for VLA members.

In 2019, the Association actively participated and enriched AFFA’s activities. Besides participating in conferences, the Association, for the third time, successfully hosted the 30th AFFA’s Annual Congress in HCMC with many new contents and side activities that attracted attention from domestic and foreign enterprises and the State’s managerial agencies- it was highly appreciated by AFFA members as B2B Conference of AFFA members, Logistics Photo Contest with enthusiastic participation from professional and semi-professional photographers domestically and from the ASEAN countries. The amount of USD 3,000 from selling artistic photos was sent to poor children having cancer in HCMC on behalf of AFFA. Also in the occasion, the Association held B2B conferences with 36 logistics enterprise of CAMFA (Cambodia) and over 30 enterprises of SLA (Singapore), which helped both sides have further understanding and relationship to the Association’s members.

Holding conference for better linkage among domestic and foreign enterprises

During the term, the Association held many professional seminars in the country and abroad. Highlights were the International Conference or Air Logistics Services in 2017 and 2019, Workshops of Transit Transport in Hanoi, Danang and HCMC. Though not many and regular, delegations of members were sent out to Asian and European countries for visit and professional study- 11 trade promotion delegations in 5 years.

 VLA leaders attend the opening ceremony of the International Exhibition on Infrastructure Seaports and logistics in Vietnam (2019)

Also during the term, the Executive Board and the Association Office respectfully welcomed delegations, organizations, international and local guests coming for visit, information exchange, and working- 41 local delegations and 44 international ones, which contributed in works of cooperation and promoting the Association and the Vietnam logistics service sector as well. Some delegations after meetings with the Association had business affairs with the members, especially having M&A activities.

Highlighted results in works of social criticism

Through the signed Agreements mentioned above, the Association carried out good works of social criticism, building policies related to logistics service developments and creating tight coordination relationships to the State’s managerial organizations as the Ministry of Transport (Vietnam Maritime Administration, Vietnam Aviation Administration, Vietnam Inland Waterway Administration and Directorate for Roads of Vietnam); the Ministry of Industry Trade, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance (General Department of Taxation, General Department of Vietnam Customs) and the People’s Committees of metropolitan cities as Hanoi, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, HCMC, and Ba RiaVung Tau for opinion exchange, coordination, and information exchange as the Project of Developing Logistics Services in HCMC to 2025, orientation to 2030; the Project of Developing Logistics Center of BR-VT; the Project of Developing Logistics Service of Quang Ninh Province, BR-VT and Thanh Hoa. And the Association supported Hai Phong City to form Hai Phong’s Association Logistics Service Business. In the work of social criticism, besides direct comments, the Association also worked closely with the Textile Association, the Vietnam’s Association of Shipping Agencies and Brokers for a common voice with the State’s agencies, typically giving opinions on Hai Phong city’s collecting fees for port infrastructure services, HCMC’s planning to collect fees for seaport infrastructure, and the Ministry of Transport’s charging rather high road fees- causing logistics costs to rise up. The Association together with the Textile Association and 6 other associations jointly signed a request to the U.S Trade Representative on December 2020 against the U.S application on the Investigation on Vietnam’s Devaluation under the Section 301. The U.S has no longer had the request so far.

Difficulties

The biggest existing matter in the work of cooperation and foreign affairs of the Association in the last term is the deploying, monitoring the signed cooperation agreements and disseminating them to members are not very well implemented, which has not achieved expected result. Besides, supporting the members in their business activities has not been well carried out. These are matters that should be improved in the Term VIII: serving the members better in works of finding new markets and partners; giving better linkage and diversifying provided forms of logistics; helping the members improve their competition abilities and cut logistics costs. The Executive Committee of the Term VIII should have a strategy to define the key external tasks to be implemented in QD 200 and QD 221. For the tasks of integrating to FIATA’s activities, in the Term VIII, the Committee should ask its members to participate actively in FIATA World Congress for expertise exchange and in FIATA’s professional boards for further vision and for update of new trends. It is necessary to promote non-professional association international exchanges as premises for professional connection.

Disputes about insurance on consolidation of goods

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Goods can be consolidated, batched, packed, sorted, and grouped for a certain period of time before being loaded onto a trailer for carriage to the consignee. Disputes about whether the time to do these things are within the scope of insurance liability or not is an issue worth knowing (through the lawsuit with the documents of a foreign law firm) below for readers’ reference.

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Freight forwarding/ Logistics plays a very important role in supply chain management and is indispensable in business, production and social life, especially in the time of social distancing as it is now.

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A life of happiness is what everyone wishes for. Psychologists said everyone can have great happiness from tiny things.

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