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New Zealand Welcomes Mexico As A New Partner On Inclusive Trade Initiatives

Hon Damien O’Connor

Minister for Trade and Export Growth

New Zealand, Chile and Canada welcomed Mexico as the newest member of the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) and signatory of the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement (GTAGA) at an event today in Paris.

Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor is in Europe to advance New Zealand’s negotiations for a free trade agreement with the European Union. He is also participating in meetings at the OECD in France and G20 in Italy.

Damien O’Connor joined Canada’s Minister for International Trade Mary Ng, Chile’s Vice Minister for International Trade Rodrigo Yáñez Benítez, and Mexico’s Undersecretary for Trade Luz Maria de la Mora at the ITAG meeting in the margins of this year’s OECD Ministerial Conference.

Undersecretary de la Mora presented a copy of the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement, signed by Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, Tatiana Clouthier Carrillo. The step makes Mexico the fourth participant of this ground-breaking arrangement that aims to promote women’s involvement in trade as part of broader efforts to promote women’s economic empowerment within the group’s membership.

“We are proud and pleased that Mexico has joined with us on this journey. Cooperation under the GTAGA helps to lay a better pathway for our women innovators and entrepreneurs,” Damien O’Connor said.

“This is another example of the New Zealand strategy of concerted open plurilaterialism in action. It’s an approach where we pursue opportunities to work with like-minded economies to develop new ideas in high-quality trade agreements. These agreements build on and support WTO rules, and are open to other WTO members to join.

“Trade is critical to our economies, especially in our shared recovery from COVID-19. This ground-breaking arrangement is about ensuring the benefits of trade are shared by all.

“We know that women are less likely to be involved in trade and are missing out on the opportunities that flow from it, whether that be through higher wages or the enhanced competitiveness and innovation that is promoted by the tradable sector.

New Zealand, Canada and Chile, have worked together since November 2018 as the ITAG to promote a more inclusive and sustainable trade agenda. The GTAGA, signed in August 2020, is one concrete initiative that has flowed from this grouping.

Mexico’s participation in ITAG and GTAGA is another step forward in the strong and long-standing relationship with New Zealand, which includes our shared participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Damien O’Connor’s travel to Europe through the USA is the second ministerial trip abroad since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

ENDS

Media contact: Sean O’Brien 022-367-7326 sean.o’brien@parliament.govt.nz

Notes to the Editor

There have been a number of successful events over the last twelve months held under the GTAGA. Damien O’Connor participated in an OECD-hosted Ministerial meeting in June 2021 that brought together a range of senior women private sector leaders and hundreds of participants from business, government, academia and civil society.

What is concerted open plurilateralism?

A key part of New Zealand’s trade strategy is bolstering and revitalising the rules-based system that is so crucial to small trading countries like ours.

Concerted open plurilateralism means we identify pathfinder opportunities to work with groups of like-minded economies that:

· share our ambition to develop new ideas and norms in trade policy areas that are important to New Zealand, and

· respond to business needs and global priorities, including inclusive trade and sustainable development.

Together, we develop high quality trade agreements that build on and support existing WTO rules. These are open to other WTO members to join if they can meet the high standard of commitments and lay a pathway to multilateral outcomes over time.

Most recently, the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) and the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS) are instances of this approach in action.

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