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Report: Second activity organized under the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement

Overview: In August 2020, Canada, Chile and New Zealand signed the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement (GTAGA), which aims to remove barriers to women's participation in trade. In keeping with this commitment, Chile hosted the second activity under the GTAGA on June 23rd entitled: Unlocking opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Canada, Chile and New Zealand. The online event allowed women who are exporting, export-ready, or considering future opportunities in GTAGA markets to learn more about the business opportunities that exist in these three countries. Approximately 120 participants attended the event.

Opening remarks were delivered by senior officials from the three GTAGA partners. Angélica Romero, Director General of Multilateral Economic Affairs at Chile's Undersecretariat of International Economics Affairs, highlighted the importance of building an enabling ecosystem that provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs to effectively set up or expand their businesses. Canada's Ambassador to Chile, Michael Gort, highlighted Canada's inclusive approach to trade, the priority Canada attaches to women's economic empowerment, and Canada's long history of providing services to Canadian women exporters. New Zealand's Ambassador to Chile, Linda Te Puni, recognized the important work of the GTAGA  and accomplishments to-date. They emphasized the relevance of such activities in creating more opportunities for businesswomen.

Opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion comprised of three successful women entrepreneurs from our three countries who are exporting within GTAGA markets. The private sector panellists included: Laura Mottola, President and CEO of Flow Partners Inc, Canada; Carolina Echeñique, Founder and President of Tika Chips, and Moulie Maison du Chocolat, Chile; and, Sarah Adams, Global Strategy and New Ventures Manager for Gallagher Animal Management, New Zealand. The entrepreneurs shared their experiences in setting up a business, addressing the different barriers they faced, the lessons they learned during this process, as well as describing the opportunities in their target markets. They also described how the global pandemic has affected their businesses and offered views on how to tackle the impact it has had on most enterprises.

Following the panel discussion, questions from the audience were welcomed.  Public engagement was high, with more than 20 questions received from participants.  Most of the questions came from female entrepreneurs seeking guidance in expanding their businesses to one of the three GTAGA markets. Panelists answered many of the questions live and others were referred to government representatives for specific information queries or requests to contact trade commissioners.

The Q&A was followed by closing remarks from Chile, Canada and New Zealand on domestic export programs that support women entrepreneurs from panelists Mark Richardson, Senior Trade Commissioner, Canadian Embassy in Chile; María José Álvarez, Coordinator, Department of Gender and Indigenous Peoples, ProChile; and, Sara Reyes, Trade Commissioner, Embassy of New Zealand in Chile.

Conclusion: The event demonstrated the many benefits of GTAGA for women entrepreneurs and allowed participants to hear from other successful entrepreneurs firsthand, including lessons learned in their journey as businesswomen and advice to expand businesses to international markets. It also demonstrated the importance of supporting female entrepreneurs in the internationalization of their businesses.  

The format proved to be dynamic and successful.  However, this activity was just an initial step towards creating tangible opportunities for women entrepreneurs' internationalization, and of exploring new paths for collaboration between and among GTAGA members.

A recording of the event is available for those who missed.

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