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Trade Agreements

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 14th November 2018.

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Photo of Stewart Hosie Stewart Hosie Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how the status of women and the promotion of women’s rights are planned to be factored into the UK's Economic Partnership Agreements.

Photo of George Hollingbery George Hollingbery Minister of State (International Trade)

Our first priority is replicating the effects of the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreements with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to avoid trade disruption for developing countries. We will also look to see how we could improve upon these trade arrangements in the future.

The UK is committed to increasing women’s role in trade, recognising the importance of trade as a lever for equality. Expanding women’s access to trade is not only the right thing to do and vital to women’s economic empowerment, but it also brings significant long-term economic and developmental gains.

The Government has committed to a number of gender equality and human rights initiatives as part of our trade policy. For example, in response to the Buenos Aires Declaration on women’s economic empowerment, the UK committed to a gender-responsive approach to trade, recognising the importance of women and girls to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth.

The Prime Minister has also launched the new ‘SheTrades Commonwealth’ programme, providing £7m new funding to enhance the competitiveness of women entrepreneurs in a number of Commonwealth countries.

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