New Zealand joins initiative to boost women’s role in global trade

New Zealand has joined Canada and Chile in a new trade initiative aimed at increasing women’s participation in global trade.

Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker, together with Canada’s Minister for Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng, Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrés Allamand, and Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yáñez, today launched the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement by videoconference.

This is New Zealand’s first dedicated trade and gender initiative, and the first arrangement of its kind to be negotiated by the three members of the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG).

“New Zealand is committed to a new way of undertaking trade to ensure it works for all, including women. ITAG’s work is a natural extension of our Trade for All agenda, which aims to ensure trade delivers for all New Zealanders,” David Parker said.

“We know exporting firms can achieve greater profitability, productivity and innovation, pay higher wages and hire more diverse employees relative to other sectors. But women are less likely to be employed in the tradable sector and so are also less likely to be able to take advantage of the benefits that accrue to businesses with international connections.

“The initiative we’ve launched today is aimed at getting a better shared understanding of the challenges women face and increasing co-operation to boost women’s participation in trade as part of broader efforts to promote women’s economic empowerment,” David Parker said.

“I encourage other economies with an interest in supporting women’s participation in international trade, and women’s economic empowerment, to join us.”

New Zealand, Canada and Chile, have worked together since November 2018 as the ITAG to promote a more inclusive and sustainable trade agenda.

Global Trade and Gender Arrangement – Joint Communiqué

Trade Ministerial Meeting of the Inclusive Trade Action Group

Canada, Chile and New Zealand sign new Global Trade and Gender Arrangement

4 August, 2020 (GMT)

Today, at a Ministerial meeting of the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG), the Ministers responsible for trade of Canada, Chile and New Zealand signed the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement. Canada’s Minister for Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng, hosted the virtual meeting and was joined by Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrés Allamand, and Under-Secretary for International Economic Relations, Rodrigo Yáñez; and New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker.

The Arrangement will promote mutually supportive trade and gender policies and unlock new opportunities to increase women’s participation in trade as part of broader efforts to improve gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

Canada, Chile and New Zealand are committed to working together to help make international trade policies more inclusive and ensure that the benefits of trade and investment are more broadly shared. This commitment is particularly important in the present context, given the common objective to achieve a sustainable and inclusive trade and economic recovery from COVID-19.

The Global Trade and Gender Arrangement acknowledges the importance of not weakening or reducing the protection afforded in the participants’ respective gender equality laws and regulations to gain trade or investment. The Arrangement also commits the participants to:

  • enforcing their laws and regulations promoting gender equality and improving women’s access to economic opportunities
  • jointly implementing cooperation activities to facilitate women’s access to international trade opportunities
  • avoiding discrimination on the basis of gender for licensing and certification in the services sector
  • cooperating and sharing best practices to eliminate discrimination in employment and occupation, including on the basis of sex, pregnancy, possibility of pregnancy, maternity, gender and gender identity, and sexual orientation
  • encouraging enterprises operating in their territory to incorporate into internal policies gender equality principles
  • working together in international forums, such as the World Trade Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, to advance trade and gender issues

The Arrangement establishes a working group to identify, coordinate, implement and report on the activities to engage with stakeholders, and review the operation of the Arrangement with a view to potentially considering a treaty level instrument after three years of implementation.

In addition to taking the time to celebrate this important achievement, the Ministers re-confirmed their commitment to continue working together to better achieve inclusive economic growth and trade policies that leave no one behind, which is more important now than ever due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministers encourage other economies with an interest in facilitating women’s participation in international trade, advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment to join this new, stand-alone Global Trade and Gender Arrangement.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.