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Report: 1-year anniversary since the entry into force of the Canada-Chile Trade and Gender Chapter

Recognizing that the benefits of trade should be more widely shared, Canada pursued its first dedicated Trade and Gender Chapter with Chile, a likeminded country that shares Canada’s vision and values of inclusivity, women’s economic empowerment and gender equality.

Two Way Trade

Since its launch in 1997, the CCFTA has brought benefits to both countries. Bilateral merchandise trade has increased almost fourfold since the Canada-Chile FTA came into force, growing to $2.8 billion in 2018.

At the end of 2018, the stock of Canadian investment in Chile was valued at $21.5 billion, making Chile Canada’s top direct investment destination in South and Central America.

The Canada-Chile Trade and Gender Chapter came into force on February 5th, 2019, marking a milestone in our strong bilateral relationship. The chapter acknowledges the importance of incorporating a gender perspective into economic and trade issues to ensure that economic growth benefits everyone.  It also provides a framework for Canada and Chile to undertake work together on issues related to trade and gender, and establishes a bilateral Committee to oversee this work, provide advise, and report on progress.

The Trade and Gender Chapter is central to Canada’s inclusive approach to trade. This approach seeks to ensure that all members of society can take advantage of the opportunities that flow from trade and investment, including under-represented groups such as women, SMEs, and Indigenous peoples.  Canada’s inclusive approach to trade is founded on three pillars:

  1. informed trade policy making through regular consultations with Canadians, including with those who have been traditionally under-represented in international trade, and the conduct of impact assessment of the effects of trade agreements on Canadians;
  2. seeking inclusive and gender responsive trade provisions through dedicated inclusive trade chapters and the mainstreaming of inclusive and gender responsive provisions across our FTAs; and,
  3. international engagement to promote inclusive trade in multilateral and other fora, such as the WTO, the OECD, APEC, etc.

Creating Trade and Gender Momentum:

In June 2017, Canada and Chile broke new ground when both countries signed the modernized Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA), which included Canada’s first Trade and Gender Chapter. Soon after this historic occasion, Canada and Chile exchanged contact points, as required under the Chapter, and began discussion towards the development of a comprehensive and evergreen trade and gender work plan.  The activities in the work plan were designed to implement the chapter and better understand the gender-related effects of trade and share information on ways to reduce barriers to the participation of women in international trade. Establishing the work plan early created the momentum needed to hit the ground running even before the chapter formally came into force – allowing for successful early implementation. The Chapter came into force in February 2019 and the first Trade and Gender Committee meeting under the CCFTA Trade and Gender Chapter took place in April 2019, where both parties reviewed progress on implementation of activities that already took place and finalized the work plan.

Momentum was also maintained with our mutual understanding of the importance of not limiting ourselves to bilateral opportunities to advance trade and gender, but also leveraging opportunities in various events and multilateral fora, as appropriate. With Chile serving as Host economy of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2019, an opportunity emerged to put women’s economic empowerment at the heart of the APEC agenda and for Canada to support Chile in holding gender related workshops and events in the context of Chile’s “Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth” Priority.

Finally, collaboration with like-minded partners helped advance Canada’s and Chile’s priorities on trade and gender and further maintain momentum. For example, further to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Joint Declaration on Fostering Progressive and Inclusive Trade, Canada, Chile and New Zealand decided to advance inclusive trade initiatives through the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG), established on the margins of the 2018 APEC Leaders’ summit. ITAG has since developed an evergreen work programme that includes pursuing a dedicated Trade and Gender arrangement with other interested countries.

Working together to advance trade and gender:

For more details on activities that Canada and Chile have implemented to date under the Trade and Gender Work Plan, please see the Annex. A sample of the activities are featured below.

1. Sharing policies and good practices

Designed to increase women’s participation in international trade and the Parties’ collective understanding around the issue, the chapter highlights workshops, seminars, dialogues and other forums for exchanging knowledge, experiences and best practices as an activity the Parties may carry out as an area of cooperation. In keeping with this objective, Canada, Chile and New Zealand hosted a half-day Capacity Building Workshop on Women and Trade on the margins of the first APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting in Santiago, Chile, on March 5, 2019. Speakers from Canada, Chile, New Zealand and the World Trade Organization shared information on innovative policies and approaches, including those referenced in some existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), in order to identify and provide potential solutions to address barriers to women’s participation in international trade and to enhance their access to global markets. More than 50 participants from 14 APEC member economies attended the workshop.

2. Collecting gender-focused statistics related to trade and women–owned businesses

In May 2019, officials from Global Affairs Canada and Statistics Canada’s Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics met Chilean counterparts to share methods and procedures for the collection and analysis of gender-disaggregated data. Canada was also a speaker at a workshop organised by Chile during the second APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting in Viña del Mar entitled Advancing women’s economic empowerment through data.

In addition, Canada undertook to identify and assess gender-disaggregated data on the Canada-Chile trading relationship. We sought to understand more clearly if Canadian women are benefitting from the opportunities that flow from trade and investment with Chile. So far, numbers are encouraging but more room exists for women and women-owned businesses to take advantage of trade and investment opportunities with Chile. See the infographic Trade and Gender: The Canadian-Chile Story to learn how Canadian women are benefitting from trade with Chile.

3. Exchanging experience and best practices for conducting gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) of trade agreements  or policies

GBA+ is an analytical tool used by the Government of Canada to assess how diverse groups of women, men and non-binary people may be affected by domestic and international policies, programs, initiatives, organizations and activities. GBA+ also considers many other identity factors, like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability and can be used as a tool to better understand the impact of trade on women’s participation in the economy and gender equality. The participation of Chile at the National GBA+ Forum hosted by Canada’s Minister of Status of Women in Ottawa in November 2018 provided both countries the opportunity to discuss how trade agreements can be made gender-responsive and how conducting GBA+ of trade agreements or policies can serve that goal.

In January 2019, Canada also hosted a series of training workshops aimed at sharing with Chile its experience with GBA+. One workshop was specially designed for staff at Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for integrating gender equality into Chile’s hosting of APEC 2019. This session looked at Canada’s lessons learned in hosting the G7 in 2018 and had participants assess their plans using an intersectional lens. Canada’s Embassy in Santiago, Chile, also held an in-house training session on GBA+ for staff. This workshop explored how GBA+ can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all mission programs, from trade to consular affairs to policy. These events demonstrated tangible progress toward increasing the capacity to promote gender equality within both the Government of Canada and the Government of Chile. The knowledge gained through these workshops, particularly the one on GBA+ and data, was reflected in the “La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth”, as one of the five Key Action Areas.

Next Steps:

To continue to build momentum on our shared commitment to advance women’s economic empowerment, Canada will continue to work with Chile to identify opportunities for greater collaboration at the next meeting of the Trade and Gender Committee under the CCFTA, including the continued implementation of its two year look-ahead evergreen work plan.  In addition, Canada and Chile will work together to ensure that the views of stakeholders are factored into the activities under the work plan.

Canada looks forward to working along side Chile and other APEC members to implement the La Serena Roadmap Implementation Plan.  Canada also looks forward to continue working alongside Chile and New Zealand to advance the Joint Declaration on Fostering Progressive and Inclusive Trade, including through taking concrete actions in the ITAG to make international trade policy more inclusive.

The full and equal participation of women in the economy is essential to both our countries’ future competitiveness and prosperity. Our economy—and our country—simply cannot reach its full potential if we are leaving people behind. Canada and Chile will continue to work together to ensure that the benefits of trade are better shared among our citizens.

Annex 1: Complete list of activities that Canada and Chile have implemented to date under the Trade and Gender Work Plan

Visit of Chilean Minister of Women and Gender Equality (Isabel Plá) to Canada
November 2, 2018
Ottawa, Canada

On November 2, 2018, Canada’s Minister for Status of Women, Minister Monsef, met with Minister Plá to discuss gender issues and the possibility of joint cooperation to complement the Canada-Chile FTA. Minister Plá also met with key Canadian partners and stakeholders to explore the gender nexus with politics, business, and education.

National GBA+ Forum
November 21-22, 2018
Ottawa, Canada

On November 21-22, 2018, Canadian (André François Giroux, Global Affairs Canada) and Chilean (Nicole Verdugo, DIRECON) officials presented  at the National GBA+ Forum in Ottawa on their respective experiences in making gender-responsive and inclusive trade agreements.

GBA+ training workshops
January 8-10, 2019
Santiago, Chile

From January 8 to 10, 2019, the Canadian Embassy in Santiago and the Canadian Foreign Service Institute shared with Chilean officials Canada’s experience in applying GBA+ to summits, such as the G7, as Chile was taking their APEC presidency.

APEC Workshop: Capacity Building Workshop on Women and Trade
March 5, 2019
Santiago, Chile

On March 5, 2019, Canada, Chile and New Zealand co-hosted and presented on their approaches to trade and gender at a half-day workshop  and to provide the information necessary for government officials to build their capacity to implement programs and policies that enhance women’s economic empowerment and participation in international trade.

WTO Workshop: Workshop on Gender in Trade Agreements
March 28, 2019
Geneva, Switzerland

On March 28, 2019, Canada and Chile participated at a WTO workshop which explored the role of trade agreements in promoting gender equality. Both countries spoke at Session 2: Gender considerations in FTAs, regional integration agreements and preferential trade schemes. What are the commitments and what has been achieved so far?

First Trade and Gender Committee meeting under the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) Trade and Gender Chapter
April 26, 2019

The first Trade and Gender Committee meeting, which took place on April 26, 2019, was an opportunity to celebrate the entry into force of the Canada-Chile Trade and Gender Chapter of the modernized CCFTA, to review  progress on implementation of activities to date, and to finalize the work plan.

APEC Workshop: Advancing women’s economic empowerment through data
May 7-8, 2019
Viña del Mar, Chile

GAC and StatCan officials participated in a workshop organized by Chile in Viña del Mar on May 7 and 8, 2019, where they shared methods and procedures for the collection of gender-disaggregated data and how the data is used to influence policy making across Government.

Canada also took the opportunity to conduct bilateral meetings with other Chilean government departments and agencies, and NGOs.

APEC Workshop: Participation of Women in the Mining Industry
June 5-6
Antofagasta, Chile

A Women in Mining workshop, organized by Chile and co-sponsored by Canada in the context of APEC, took place in Antofagasta on June 5 and 6, 2019. The purpose of this workshop was to train public and private sector mining professionals to identify and address the challenges faced by women in this industry. Ambassador Peña provided opening remarks.

ITAG Trade and Gender arrangement

The Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG), established by Canada, Chile and New Zealand, has been developing a Trade and Gender arrangement, which was included as a key initiative in ITAG’s evergreen work programme. The arrangement would recognize the importance of mutually supportive trade and gender policies, and would aim to increase women’s participation in international trade and the Parties’ collective understanding around the issue.

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