Report: Second anniversary of the Canada-Chile FTA Trade and Gender Chapter
Overview: Despite the pandemic and all of the resulting upheaval and changes, Canada and Chile continued to work closely together to implement activities under the Trade and Gender Chapter of the modernized Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement. A comprehensive work plan on trade and gender is currently being implemented, with activities seeking to better understand the gender-related effects of trade and share information on ways to reduce barriers to the participation of women in international trade. Considerable progress in implementing the Trade and Gender Chapter has been made over the past two years with 15 activities implemented. The following report focuses on activities implemented between February 2020 and January 2021, including a videoconference on applying GBA+ to FTAs, an Indigenous Women’s Capacity Building workshop, and the signing of the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement.
Activity implementation, February 2020 to January 2021
Second Canada-Chile FTA Trade and Gender Committee meeting
On May 7, 2020, Canada and Chile held their second annual Trade and Gender Committee meeting under the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA). The Committee meeting was an opportunity to: review and assess the past year’s activities; compare how both countries are implementing other FTA trade and gender chapters; and exchange information on government programs to respond to COVID-19, particularly with respect to SMEs and women’s participation in the economy and trade. Canada and Chile agreed on the importance of ensuring that our respective responses to COVID-19 are inclusive and gender responsive, and to continue implementing the Committee’s work plan, including more activities to engage stakeholders and identify new opportunities for collaboration. For more information, read the Second Trade and Gender Committee meeting report.
Information session - Applying Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) on FTAs: the Canada-Mercosur FTA negotiations case
On July 17, 2020, Canada and Chile held a two-hour videoconference to provide Chile information on Canada’s experience in conducting gender-based analysis plus on trade agreements and policies. The presentations provided by Global Affairs Canada explained the process for conducting GBA+ on trade agreements and shared preliminary findings and best practices from the ex-ante quantitative and qualitative GBA+ of the ongoing Canada-Mercosur FTA negotiations. The presentation was followed by questions from Chile. The videoconference was attended by 45 officials from both sides. For more Information, read the "Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+): Canada-Mercosur FTA Negotiations" activity report.
Indigenous women’s participation in local economies: Discussing institutional involvement to promote capacity building
In July 2020, Chile’s Ministry of Social Development coordinated a workshop series called “Indigenous Women´s Participation in Local Economies: Discussing Institutional Involvement to Promote Capacity Building” as part of Chile’s 2019 APEC Presidency. The series, sponsored by Canada, Mexico and New Zealand, featured four sessions attended by officials from APEC economies’ public institutions specializing in Indigenous women’s economic empowerment. APEC economies that participated in this event included: Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines and Vietnam. Chile was represented by the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality, Corporación de Fomento de la Producción (CORFO), Undersecretary of Tourism, and UN Women Chile. Ms. Dawn Madahbee Leach, Vice Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, represented Canada as a speaker at the event.
The series focused on good practices and challenges when designing and implementing public policies to foster Indigenous women’s participation in local economies. It allowed for a comparative analysis to highlight a series of best practices to be replicated throughout APEC, which could advance policies and programmes to empower Indigenous women in the APEC region. Indigenous people in the APEC region comprise 70% of the global indigenous population.
Global Trade and Gender Arrangement signing ceremony
On August 4, 2020, at a Ministerial Meeting of the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG), the ministers responsible for trade from Canada, Chile and New Zealand signed the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement (GTAGA).
The Arrangement commits the Participants to:
- jointly implement cooperation activities to remove barriers to women’s participation in international trade, and work together in international fora such as the WTO to advance these issues;
- enforce their laws and regulations promoting gender equality and improving women’s access to economic opportunities;
- ensure non-discrimination on the basis of gender for licensing and certification in the services sector;
- promote gender equality in the workplace; and
- cooperate and share best practices to eliminate discrimination on the basis of sex, pregnancy, possibility of pregnancy, maternity, gender and gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Arrangement is aimed at increasing the development of more robust opportunities for women in international trade; and contributing to the promotion of gender considerations on the international stage. Other countries are invited to join the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement as Participants. For more information, read the joint communiqué and the full text of the Arrangement.
Geneva Trade Week 2020
On September 30, 2020, during Geneva Trade Week at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and as part of the work plan under the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG), Canada, Chile and New Zealand organized a panel discussion entitled How e-commerce and digital trade can support an inclusive COVID-19 recovery. The objective of the discussion was to provide an opportunity to hear, first hand, on how e-commerce and digital trade can support inclusive development, particularly for Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), women, indigenous peoples and those in isolated rural areas; and the role digital technology and e-commerce is playing in economic recovery and response strategies. Panelists included: Traci Houpapa from the New Zealand Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA); Crystal Hunt, Diversity and Belonging Specialist, and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Employee Resource Group at Shopify, a leading e-commerce company in Canada; Isabel Loncomil from Lirmi, a learning management software company in Chile; and Marion Jansen, Chief Economist, OECD.
The COVID-19 crisis has further catalysed e-commerce opportunities and exacerbated some of the existing challenges and vulnerabilities of individuals and countries. MSMEs and under-represented groups have been particularly vulnerable to the repercussions of the pandemic. The panel discussion offered a glimpse into the world of businesses navigating digital trade, including the perspectives of under-represented communities. Panelists also made suggestions on how governments and policymakers can play a role towards ensuring a more sustainable and inclusive economic and trade recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. It also provided an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on e-commerce, which complements the work of the WTO Informal Working Group on MSMEs.
First activity under the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement
On December 10, 2020, Canada hosted the first activity under the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement. Canada, Chile and New Zealand each provided presentations on their current domestic programming and policies that support women’s economic empowerment and gender equality. Canada’s presentation was delivered by Finance Canada and focused on Canada’s approach to gender-based budgeting and how it has evolved over time. Chile’s presentation was delivered by the CEO of Start-Up Chile and focused on the Female Founder Factor, an initiative that supports women entrepreneurs. New Zealand’s presentation was delivered by the Ministry for Women and focused on practical initiatives that enable policy makers and the private sector to include a gender perspective in their decision-making. Given the goal of expanding GTAGA participants, officials from eight other countries were invited to observe the activity. In total, over 60 participants joined this activity from: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Fiji, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru and Tunisia. For more information, read the “First activity organized under the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement” report.
Canada and Chile are pleased with the progress achieved over the past year. We recognize this progress stems from our shared values of advancing inclusive trade and ensuring that the benefits of trade are widely shared across our economies. We look forward to another active year ahead where we also plan to leverage opportunities to work together under ITAG and the GTAGA, as well as APEC, the WTO, the Pacific Alliance, and other multilateral fora.
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