View Vacancy - VNM - Trade Policy Adviser (and Deputy Head Trade and Investment Hanoi), C4(L)

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Department for International Trade roles (DIT)
Department for International Trade (DIT)

Main purpose of job:

The British High Embassy is looking for a proactive, engaged individual to lead on deepening the UK-Vietnam trade relationship, as the UK leaves the European Union and establishes its independent trade policy. Vietnam is currently one of the UK’s fastest growing export markets and in the last five years exports have more than doubled. The UK is also an increasingly important destination for Vietnam’s exports with total bilateral trade reaching £5bn in 2017.

This challenging role will be to lead on supporting UK trade policy priorities by further deepening UK-Vietnam business and trade ties, opening markets and removing non-tariff barriers. This is a unique opportunity to be directly involved in the UK establishing its independent trade position as it moves towards leaving the European Union. Developing stronger links with Vietnam and SE Asia more broadly are important elements of our future global trading relationships.

Roles and responsibilities / what will the jobholder be expected to achieve?:

The Job Holder will be responsible for developing bilateral cooperation with Vietnam that advances our strong trade and investment ties and also identifying and driving forward new approaches to deepen these ties.

They will lead the trade policy discussions with the Vietnamese government/Ministry of Industry and Trade on the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the annual UK Vietnam Joint Economic and Trade Committee talks. These work streams are critical to the bilateral trade relationship between the UK and Vietnam and are at the heart of the position. The candidate will need to engage business and keep them informed of preparations for entry into force of EUVFTA and the subsequent transition into a bilateral UK-Vietnam FTA through business engagement planning.

The position involves ensuring the right frameworks are in place to facilitate information exchange on opportunities and priorities, setting up bilateral dialogues, laying the groundwork, influencing, advising and briefing stakeholders, and pursuing opportunities to strengthen partnerships and expand support for engagement from both sides.

The successful candidate will need to sustain and grow networks of contacts and be comfortable working with and influencing senior stakeholders, setting strategic priorities, gripping delivery of high profile Ministerial visits. The candidate will have a strong experience and knowledge in trade policy and in international collaboration.

In addition it will be essential for the job holder to develop strong relationships with stakeholders in the Vietnamese government who not only lead on trade policy but lead on many areas of particular interest to UK firms – such as the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance. The role will include lobbying on UK company interests, by influencing stakeholders and changes to existing policy, and working to open up sectors for the UK in this market. The job holder will also develop strong relationships with UK and Vietnamese businesses – they will need to initiate private sector outreach and communication on the UK-Vietnam trading relationship including by developing support networks, fostering dialogue with key stakeholders, industry and other partners, including the British Chamber of Commerce and key businesses. In addition to the above the job holder will lead detailed policy analysis to:

  • Understand both the UK and Vietnam trade relationships including the potential risks and sensitivities and relevant domestic policy developments;
  • Actively advising British business on tactics for intervention
  • Identify and develop a clear picture of key areas of business interest and concern;
  • Build up a picture of barriers to companies increasing their trade and investment with Vietnam (working with UK Asia Business Council and other organisations),
  • Report and update on latest positions on Vietnam’s WTO membership commitments, EU-Vietnam FTA and Vietnam’s role in the CPTPP.

The role will also link UK technical assistance work on trade policy in the region with our prosperity objectives to ensure a seamless approach between objectives including working closely with the Global Trade Programme manager in developing the UK Gov Global Trade Programme (GTP).

The GTP aims to promote economic reforms and remove barriers to trade including regulatory barriers, customs procedures, standards and trade facilitation assistance. An important part of the role will be working with DIT to unlock commercial opportunities for UK companies, created by the programmes.

The role will also support of the work of the Department for International Trade team already at the British Embassy and British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City including as needed support high value campaigns to promote UK exports to Vietnam.

This is a full time role. The successful candidate will have a strong experience and knowledge in trade policy and in international collaboration. There is plenty of scope for the job holder to have a significant real world impact in terms of facilitating new trade relationships. There will also be opportunities to get involved in other work streams within the British Embassy, widening the skills base of the successful applicant, including the Prosperity Fund as mentioned above.

  • At least two years experience working on trade policy issues,
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; the ability to draft high quality materials to short deadlines and to present with confidence to senior stakeholders – including presenting technical issues in an easy to understand format to a non-technical audience
  • Excellent communication and influencing skills
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision
  • Comfortable challenging senior audiences and pro-actively contributing to meetings
  • Language requirements: English and Vietnamese
  • Experience working on trade negotiations and market access issues (and associated lobbying)
  • Knowledge of British business priorities in Vietnam/experience working for UK companies
  • Knowledge of UK and Vietnam government systems
  • Ability to critically assess and interpret different forms of data and evidence.
  • Experience of working with the Vietnamese Government
  • Managerial experience
Seeing the Big Picture, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering at Pace
23 January 2020
C4 (L)
Full-time, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal
Asia Pacific
British Embassy
24 February 2020

The British Embassy is committed to being a learning and development organisation and encourages all staff to pursue continued learning and development in the workplace. We offer a supportive and friendly working environment where staff work to the values of: integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality.  Everyone is encouraged to take responsibility, be innovative and work together.

The British Embassy offers a competitive remuneration package including salary, leave entitlement, flexible working patterns, medical package for staff and dependants, and opportunities for learning and development.

Employment offers are subject to the successful clearance of pre-employment checks.

Staff recruited locally by the British Embassy Hanoi is subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local employment law.

All applications must be received before 23:55 on the day of the deadline indicated above. 

Incomplete application forms will not be taken into consideration, so please ensure you provide the information requested. We regret to advise that we will only be contacting short-listed candidates. Applicants called for an interview will be assessed on the core competencies listed above.

The successful candidate should be able to start as soon as possible subject to successful clearance of pre-employment/security checks.

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Local Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.