UPS (NYSE: UPS) and the Vietnam-Japan Human Resources Cooperation Centre (VJCC), with support from the government of Hai Phong, collaborated to hold a capacity-building workshop that will help Vietnamese and Japanese manufacturers harness opportunities in the Vietnam-Japan trade lane. Targeted at industrial manufacturing, automotive and high-tech manufacturers, the workshop was held at Hai Phong and was attended by key decision makers from multinational companies and small and medium enterprises based in North Vietnam. “Historically, we have seen an average 20% increase in a region's trade volume after a trade agreement is passed; a sign that businesses recognize the benefits of a more open market. Trade between Vietnam and Japan was worth about US$27.6 billion in 2014, making Japan the fourth largest trading partner for Vietnam. As both the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) continue to progress, we can anticipate stronger trade growth between these two markets,” said Jeff McLean, Managing Director of UPS Vietnam. “Stronger collaboration between Vietnamese and Japanese manufacturers encourages regional supply chains that is mutually beneficial.” As an enabler of trade, UPS highlighted supply chain best practices and discussed standards expected of competitive suppliers – particularly how improving processes can enable Vietnamese suppliers to better integrate into Japanese manufacturing value chains. With economic cooperation central to boosting bilateral trade, supply chain experts from UPS provided workshop attendees with overviews of the TPP and the VJEPA, and insights on how best to leverage these free trade agreements for greater growth. “The Japan manufacturing model has evolved; many businesses have adapted to incorporate emerging markets like Vietnam into their supply chains. UPS has been operating in Japan for almost 30 years, giving us a good understanding of what Japanese manufacturers look for when selecting suppliers to work with,” said Masato Umeno, President of UPS Japan. “Connectivity is essential for cross-border trade to flourish. Businesses that plug into UPS’s global network and innovative solutions can integrate their supply chains more seamlessly to stand out from global competition.” “This is the second workshop that VJCC has organised with support from UPS, and we believe that Vietnamese and Japanese companies based here will benefit from having a greater understanding of the global supply chain network,” said Dr. Nguyen Thi Hien, Director of Vietnam–Japan Human Resources Cooperation Center (VJCC). “More importantly, we are raising recognition among businesses that there are solutions which they can tap on to grow their business as Vietnam and Japan enter into agreements that facilitate trade.” The first workshop organized by UPS and VJCC, together with Vietnam’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), was held last year with over 70 decision-makers from 50 Vietnamese companies in the support industries which produce intermediate components, such as metal frames, electrical parts and machinery components.