International consultancy to develop proposal on practices of concluding trade-economic cooperation agreements


Location : Home-based, TURKMENISTAN
Application Deadline :11-May-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
25-May-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :May - June 2021
Expected Duration of Assignment :30 working days

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations of Turkmenistan (Ministry) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are implementing a project entitled “Strengthening the Trade Capacity of Turkmenistan”. The project is focused on supporting the Government of Turkmenistan in building trade capacity of the country with a view to support the realization of Turkmenistan’s objectives aimed at increasing competitiveness of national economy, reducing imports dependence and diversifying exports, including by increasing the share of higher-value added products in export composition.

Due to the increasingly intensifying international competition for markets it is necessary to address the objective of export diversification with implementation of range of measures focused on the creation of effective system to promote domestically produced goods in export markets throughout the whole value chain: producer – ultimate buyer. Among range of issues there is a need to put efforts to improve the legal and regulatory framework, primary, international agreements in specific areas of trade and economic cooperation (for example, Turkmenistan is not a party to the CIS Free Trade Agreement).  

Through the current activity it is planned to carry out works to increase the effectiveness of using the existing instruments for development of trade and economic cooperation of Turkmenistan, which will contribute to more complete and comprehensive protection of interests of the country in domestic and foreign markets. Moreover, it is planned to analyze the practices of concluding international bilateral and regional agreements in the area of trade and economic cooperation, and to prepare the texts of model trade and economic agreements that are best designed to serve the interests of country and economic entities. This work is necessary in view of the fact that in the modern world all processes of interstate and international cooperation are based either on the international agreements or decisions of international organizations. Absence of such foundations or availability of agreements that fail to serve the relevant interests of the states in a changing world create serious (sometimes insurmountable) institutional obstacles to realization of economic capacity and building of stable and diversified partnerships with key trading partners and world economic centers.

One of the objectives of the current project is to enhance the level of competitiveness of national economy by strengthening qualification of professional staff of trade related institutions of Turkmenistan through building capacity to formulate and implement trade-related policy measures. Strengthening qualification of national professionals will be directed towards training of specialists demanded by modern economy, conducting market analysis through applied scientific research, establishment of contacts with foreign and international organizations that would support national professionals to develop domestic and international trade policy.

UNDP is planning to engage international consultancy with the hands-on experience to develop proposals on improvement of practice of concluding international agreements on trade and economic cooperation on bilateral, regional and multilateral basses engaging with specialists of the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations, Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the State Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange, and other related organizations in Turkmenistan.


Duties and Responsibilities

In accordance with the above-mentioned objective of the assignment and under the supervision of the Project Manager, the International Consultant (IC) will have the objective of transferring knowledge and expertise to the national trade representatives through provision of proposals on improvement of practice of concluding international agreements on trade and economic cooperation on bilateral, regional and multilateral basis. To achieve the objective, he or she will perform the following tasks:

  • Action 1: Carry out desk review by reading relevant sections of the project document, analytical overview of national consultant on the use of existing instruments for development of trade and economic cooperation of Turkmenistan;
  • Action 2: Study and analyse national consultant’s overview, analyse the practices of concluding international bilateral and regional agreements of Turkmenistan in trade and economic cooperation and prepare for discussion with national trade partners and other related institutions of Turkmenistan on the requirements for improving international trade and economic cooperation;
  • Action 3: Develop proposals on improvement of practices of concluding international agreements on trade and economic cooperation on bilateral, regional and multilateral basis through online interaction in the form of practical sessions, master classes, problem-solving exercises or simulation of case studies. Proposals should be diverted towards increasing the effectiveness of using existing instruments for development of trade and economic cooperation of Turkmenistan;
  • Action 4: Assign and supervise relevant government authorities to prepare model agreements on trade and economic cooperation on bilateral, regional and multilateral basis and evaluate model agreements with commentaries;
  • Action 5: Provide consultancy report on the outcome of model trade and economic cooperation agreements;

Deliverables and timeframe:

Deliverables:

  • Desk review on the use of existing instruments for development of trade and economic cooperation of Turkmenistan completed;
  • National consultant’s overview report was studied and Turkmenistan’s existing instruments for concluding trade-economic cooperation agreements were analyzed and prepared to discuss with national authorities of Turkmenistan range of issues regarding conclusion of agreements on trade and economic cooperation;

Duration and timeframe:

  • 5 working days for analyses, desk work and understanding the existing instruments in Turkmenistan for development of international trade and economic cooperation.
  • 5 working days to study and analyze national overview and accordingly prepare to meet with Turkmenistan authorities to exchange opinions on requirements for improving international trade and economic cooperation.

Deliverables:

  • Proposals on improvement of practices of concluding international agreements on trade and economic cooperation on bilateral, regional and multilateral basis are developed.

Duration and timeframe:

  • 10 working days for developing proposal on improvement of practices of concluding international agreements on trade and economic cooperation of Turkmenistan.

Deliverables:

  • Relevant government authorities have been assigned and supervised in drafting model trade and economic cooperation agreements. Final model agreements are prepared.

Duration and timeframe:

  • 10 working days for assigning, supervising, and evaluating model trade and economic cooperation agreement in Turkmenistan.

Deliverables:

  • Writing consultancy report.

Payment conditions:

This is an installment-based contract that should cover the costs of consultancy required to produce the above deliverables. The final schedule of payments will be agreed upon in the beginning of consultancy. Payment will be released in two installments: 1st installment: 40% (after release of draft proposal) and 2nd installment: 60% (after model agreement by trade authorities are drafted and final consultancy report submitted by international consultant as per this ToR) – upon timely submission of respective deliverables and their acceptance by UNDP Turkmenistan.


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment;

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge of and extensive experience working with UN international trade development mechanisms;
  • Excellent analytical, communication and proposal writing skills;
  • Results driven, ability to work under pressure and to meet required deadlines;
  • Good understanding and practice of capacity development;
  • Cultural sensitivity;
  • Diplomatic skills.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Advanced university degree (at least master’s degree) in a relevant field, such as international and commercial laws, economics, international business or a related field with a particular focus on the development of proposals concluding international agreements on trade and economic cooperation;

Experience:

  • At least 7 years of working experience in advising or capacity development in the field of development of international trade and economic cooperation laws;
  • Experience in institutional and personal trade capacity building with focus on development of international agreements on trade and economic cooperation;
  • Knowledge and experience of work in Turkmenistan, Central Asia or CIS is an advantage;
  • Good knowledge of the UN, WTO mandate in the area of international trade policy development is an asset.

Language requirements:

  • Excellent written and spoken English; fluent Russian is an asset;

Submission of applications:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

All experts applying for this position are required to provide:

  • Brief (1-2 pages) description of the methodology for the assignment. However, the specific design and methods for the workshop will be determined by consultations between expert and the national partner (Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations of Turkmenistan) about what is appropriate and feasible to meet the goals of the technical seminar;
  • Financial Proposal with the references to (1) the daily rate for the assignment and within the timing scale indicated in the present TOR, and (2) any other expenses (including transportation costs, accommodation costs, the possibility of vaccination and etc.). Template of the form can be found at: http://www.tm.undp.org/content/turkmenistan/en/home/procurement.html. The UNDP will enter into an Individual Contract based on a lump sum amounts. The financial proposal shall represent a detailed, justified and “all inclusive” amount.  In order to assist UNDP in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount, including: a daily fee for the tasks and an estimated duration as specified in this announcement, travel (to and from the missions), per diems, any other possible costs (including vaccinations, dwelling, communication etc.);
  • Cover letter explaining why they are the most suitable candidate for the assignment;
  • Resume /CV.

Evaluation of proposals:

Individual Consultants will be evaluated based on the combined scoring methodology. When using this method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant and
  • Having received the highest score – out of 100

Out of the maximum score, the score for technical criteria equals 70% - maximum 100 points, and for financial criteria 30%.

The technical evaluation will take into account the following as per the scoring provided:

  • Education in the area of international and commercial laws, economics, international business or a related field with a particular focus on the development of proposals concluding international agreements on trade and economic cooperation– 25 pts;
  • Experience in institutional and personal trade capacity building with focus on development of international agreements on trade and economic cooperation – 35 pts;
  • Methodology – 10 pt;  
  • Good knowledge of the UN mandate in the area of democratic governance – 5 pts;
  • Knowledge and experience of work in the CIS or Central Asia – 10 pts;
  • Fluency in English – 10 pts;
  • Fluency in Russian – 5 pts.

Financial proposal – 30% of total evaluation.

Additional requirements for recommended contractor:

Recommended contractors aged 65 and older, and if the travel is required, shall undergo a full medical examination including x-ray, and obtain medical clearance from the UN-approved doctor prior to taking up their assignment. The medical examination is to be cleared by the UN physicians, and shall be paid by the consultant.



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