Expert in state-owned enterprise provisions in free trade agreements

Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM) 

Closing Date April 26, 2024 Location   Work Type  Tech Assistance - Consultant
Salary Range
Experience Level  - Job ID  
Job Description

Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM) provides technical assistance to Official Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries to maximize the development impacts of trade and investment. Over seven years (2018-2025), EDM will invest CAD 16.5 million to support Canada's developing country trading partners to negotiate, implement, benefit from, and adapt to trade and investment agreements with Canada.

EDM is a demand-driven project that will benefit potential partners – including governments, local private sector groups and local civil society organizations – through capacity building and technical advisory support on policy reform issues that have a high potential to reduce poverty and gender inequalities and support progress in trade and investment agreement negotiations.

Global Affairs Canada has identified Ecuador as a beneficiary of EDM technical assistance in the context of proposed free trade negotiations, notified Parliament in December 2023. The objective of the negotiations is to deepen the trade relationship with Ecuador as part of Canada’s export diversification strategy.  Canada-Ecuador bilateral trade is small but growing, totalling $1.3 billion CAD in 2022, an increase of 36% over the previous year.  Canada also has significant investments in Ecuador, principally in the mining sector, totalling $2.6 billion in the same year. 

Ecuador made significant progress between 2000 and 2019 in improving development indicators and expanding the economy. However, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted the economy, reducing GDP by 7.8% in 2020. The economic downturn contributed to an increase in crime—including drug trafficking and organized crime—violent conflict and civil and political turmoil.

The Government of Ecuador seeks to reestablish stability and economic growth and build “an economy at the service of society” (National Development Plan 2021-2025). An important part of the plan is diversifying export products and markets and attracting foreign investment through new trade agreements. New agreements were negotiated with Costa Rica and China in 2023.

As part of its recent trade agreements, Canada has sought provisions to promote labour and environment standards and encourage the participation in trade of marginalized groups, including SMEs and businesses owned by women, Indigenous Peoples and minority groups.  In addition, Canada has sought disciplines to ensure that “large commercial state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and designated monopolies operate in accordance with market principles while recognizing the role of SOEs in the public domain.”  To date, Ecuador has not included provisions in these areas in its trade agreements. 

In anticipation of the negotiations with Canada, the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries of Ecuador (MPFTIF) has requested technical assistance to train its trade negotiators.  The present request for proposals is focused on the issue of SOE provisions in trade agreements and seeks experts to provide training on these provisions.
Linkage to EDM Performance Measurement Framework
This assistance is consistent with the EDM Performance Management Framework, Immediate Outcome 1110 Enhanced ability of partner country MDAs to engage in exploratory discussions and negotiate sustainable and inclusive trade and investment agreements.
Description of Technical Assistance Request/Key Responsibilities
The technical expert(s) will:

  1. Prepare a research paper on the state-owned enterprise provisions in trade agreements, including the history, trends, substance, legal and institutional effect of these provisions. The paper should include an examination of FTA provisions in Canadian trade agreements and those of key export markets and regional trading partners.. The research is expected to include secondary (comprehensive literature review) and primary (surveys, key informant interviews) sources. Based on the evidence collected in the research, the experts will identify options, challenges and best practices in integrating disciplines on SOEs in trade agreements.
  2. Design and deliver a seminar/workshop for trade negotiators to present the research paper and facilitate a discussion of the options to integrate provisions on state-owned enterprises into Ecuador’s trade agreements.  The seminar is to be delivered virtually to 40 participants.
  3. The research paper and seminar/workshop are to be delivered in Spanish.  Simultaneous interpretation can be used.

Consistent with Canada's inclusive trade approach, the EDM promotes gender equality, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability as cross-cutting objectives of all technical assistance.  Proposals should explain how these objectives will be integrated into the planning/approach, content and conduct of the research paper and seminar. 
The direct beneficiaries of this technical assistance will be the participating officials from MPFTIF and other relevant ministries and agencies.   Indirectly, the assistance will result in better trade policy outcomes for Ecuador businesses, increasing sustainable trade and investment, prosperity, and poverty reduction.  The immediate outcome of the technical assistance is expected to be increased knowledge of state-owned enterprise provisions in trade agreements among Ecuadorian trade policy officials. In the medium term, the assistance is expected to contribute to trade policymaking and consensus on negotiating positions on state-owned enterprise provisions in trade agreements.  
The recruitment of experts is expected to be completed in May 2024. The technical assistance activity is expected to be completed by November 31, 2024.

  • A detailed work plan, work schedule and budget for the delivery of activities.
  • Completed EDM Performance Measurement Framework template for the TA, including baseline data and targets against EDM indicators.
  • Draft and final written report on the state-owned enterprise provisions in trade agreements.
  • Draft and final workshop agendas and presentation materials.

Final Narrative Report on Mandate: Due within 30 calendar days of completing all TA activities. The report shall describe activities delivered; results achieved (versus initial expected results and baseline); lessons learned relevant to future EDM activities, and expenses incurred by the Consultant in carrying out this mandate. This report will be reviewed and approved by EDM before being shared with Global Affairs Canada.
Proposal Submission Process
For your proposal to be considered, please name your document in the following format: 3.18 - Consultant Last Name, First Name (or Organisation’s name) (Proposals can be submitted by a single consultant or a consortium of consultants). 

Your proposal should be in English and contain the following sections: Cover letter Proposal that includes the following: Your approach to implementing this TA (up to 10 pages maximum); Describe your approach to ensure that gender equality and social inclusion are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery (up to 2 pages maximum); Describe your approach to ensure that environmental impacts are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery (up to 1 page maximum); Outline your project management and monitoring strategy for the implementation of the activities (up to 2 pages maximum).

Indicate all proposed personnel to implement this project and their roles and responsibilities. Include all CVs of proposed personnel/experts (up to 20 pages maximum). Estimated level of effort (in days) and provide consulting rates (in CAD) for each proposed personnel and/or expert implementing the project.  
About us: Founded in 1985, Cowater International is a leading global development consulting company. Headquartered in Ottawa and with corporate hubs in Auckland, Berlin, Brussels, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Manila, Nairobi, Singapore and Stockholm, Cowater International has successfully delivered a portfolio of over 2500 projects and assignments in more than 95 countries. We work with governments, private sector actors, and communities to implement projects that support socio-economic development, institutional strengthening, and environmental improvements, as well as advance equal opportunities for all. We are a diverse and experienced team committed to building a better tomorrow for the people we serve. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our yearly award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies since 2017.

How to Apply

Please submit your proposal as one PDF document through the Cowater Career Page.

Emailed proposals will not be accepted. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

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 Cowater International is an equal opportunity employer, basing employment on merit and qualifications as they relate to professional experience and position expectations. Cowater does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender identity, disability, age, or any other basis protected by law.