Expert in Services and Investment Obligations in Trade Agreements

Date of Publication: 
7 April 2020
Application Deadline: 
15 May 2020
Cowater International
Brief Description: 
Job stage: Immediate Opportunity Wage: Commensurate with Experience
Position Type: Consultant, Short Term, Full-Time
Posted: 03/31/2020
Country: Home based

Technical Expert - Terms of Reference

Project Name: Raising awareness of FTA Obligations on Trade in Services and Investment

Deadline to Apply: May 15, 2020


Funded by the Government of Canada and implemented on behalf of Global Affairs Canada by Cowater International and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), the Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM) provides trade technical assistance to Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible countries to maximize the development impact of their trade and investment agreements with Canada.  Over seven years (2018-2025), EDM will invest CAD $16.5 million to support Canada’s developing country trading partners to negotiate, implement, adapt to and benefit from trade and investment agreements with Canada.

EDM is a demand-driven project that will benefit potential partners – including governments, local private sector group and 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.

Paraguay has been identified by Global Affairs Canada as a priority country for trade technical assistance under the EDM, in the context of the ongoing Canada-MERCOSUR FTA negotiations.  Assistance provided under the EDM is expected to strengthen Paraguay’s capacity to participate in the negotiations, to implement the resulting agreement and to benefit from the opportunities created.

Paraguay has achieved impressive economic growth in recent years, expanding at an average rate of around 5% of GDP per year and graduating to upper-middle income country status in 2015 (UN classification system) with a per capita income of $12,800 US in 2017.  This growth has also been reasonably widely shared, with a reduction in poverty of 49% - and a reduction of extreme poverty of 65% - over the past decade. 

Despite these achievements, 22.2% of the population remained below the poverty line in 2015, poverty reduction has slowed, much of the economy remains informal, the regulatory environment is uncertain (principally gaps in the regulatory regime), which negatively affects the investment climate (World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking of 113), as does corruption (Transparency International ranking of 132).  

Paraguay is also highly vulnerable to global economic shocks.  Exports are comprised of a narrow range of products, classified in only 7 of the 99 chapters of the WCO Harmonized System.  Of these products, 63% are agricultural – mostly soy and beef – making export performance highly dependent on weather events and fluctuations in global commodity prices.  Paraguay’s central trade challenge is to diversify its production, by strengthening both the manufacturing and services sectors.  At the same time, efforts are needed to move agricultural production higher up the value chain.  Infrastructure for trade needs to be improved, including to strengthen border controls to increase tariff revenue and reduce re-exports.

EDM is funded under the development mandate of Global Affairs Canada and, in additional to meeting the legal requirements of the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, must strive to achieve the objectives of the Feminist International Assistance Policy in all of it activities.  Much has been done to establish the legal and institutional basis to advance equality in Paraguayan society, but women remain underrepresented in the senior ranks of government and business and face all the classic barriers to participation in the economy.  Experts engaged to deliver trade technical assistance to Paraguay will work with the EDM expert on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion and the recipient organizations in Paraguay to develop concrete measures to ensure that women and other underrepresented/disadvantaged groups both participate in and benefit from all projects.

An EDM mission to Paraguay, conducted in October 2019, identified technical assistance needs in trade policy capacity-building, including support to build awareness and understanding of the disciplines on services and investment in free trade agreements, particularly in the regulatory community.

This assistance is consistent with the approved EDM Country Needs Assessment Plan for Paraguay, Mandate 1, Trade Policy Capacity Building, and the EDM Performance Measurement Framework, Immediate Outcome 1210, enhancing the ability of partner country governments to strengthen, implement and measure legislation, regulations, policies and/or standards that support inclusive trade and investment agreements with Canada. 

The direct beneficiaries of this technical assistance are the up to 300 public officials and private sector representatives who will participate in the training workshops.  However, Paraguayan exporters, producers and workers are also beneficiaries, through the introduction of new, or amended regulations, designed to facilitate trade in services, attract foreign investment, foster economic growth and job creation.


Technical assistance has been requested by the Directorate General of Services Trade, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, to increase awareness of services and investment disciplines in free trade agreements, particularly within the regulatory community in Paraguay.

The consultant will:

  • Design and deliver gender-sensitive, training workshops for regulatory officials and private sector representatives, on the nature and impacts of disciplines on services trade and investment in modern trade agreements, incorporating sessions related to gender equality and social inclusion good practices in services trade and investment protection.
  • Develop recommendations for an ongoing program of exchanges between Paraguayan government agencies and their Canadian counterparts, designed to provide training and professional development in trade in services and investment trade policy and negotiations, incorporating a gender equality and social inclusion perspective.
  • Promote and integrate gender equality and social inclusion considerations into all aspects of the technical assistance, researching and drawing upon emerging good practices in gender equality and social inclusion in the areas of trade in services and investment protection in free trade agreements.

Technical Expert Profile/Expertise Required

Applicants for this assignment must have :

  • Extensive experience in services and investment trade policy.
  • A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the obligations in the Services and Investment chapters of international trade agreements.
  • A sound understanding of the regulatory process, particularly regarding compliance with the obligations of trade agreements.
  • Experience in providing technical assistance to developing countries.
  • The EDM includes a core focus on gender equality and social inclusion as well as on environmental issues associated with trade activities. The approach to technical assistance related to both topics is included in guidance documents that are available to both technical assistance applicants and Technical Experts. Successful applicants are required to research and integrate specific good and emerging practices in these areas-partnering with other expert consultants if necessary- which will form a core part of the mandate of the technical assistance provider.   Prior experience in the provision of technical assistance on gender equality and social inclusion and environment will be viewed as a strong asset

Anticipated duration of activities: May 2020 – December 2020

Reporting and Deliverables


  • A mission plan, including the design of the training seminar, detailed costing and proposed delivery dates.
  • Draft and final versions of training materials for the training seminars, including presentations, handouts and evaluation questionnaires, in English and Spanish.
  • Recommendations for the design and organization of exchanges between Paraguayan and Canadian government agencies.
  • Final activity report as per EDM report guidelines as outlined below.


On conclusion of the activities, the consultant will prepare a final report as per EDM report guidelines, including:

  • General context and broad objective(s) of the activity
  • A summary of the approach and specific activities
  • Expected and unanticipated challenges in the delivery of the activities
  • Outlines results, including the immediate outcomes and the anticipated longer-term benefits
  • Sustainability of results
  • Contribution to gender equality, social inclusion and sustainable development
  • Recommended performance management framework and specific performance measures
  • Recommended next steps in the implementation of the CPTPP in Paraguay, including future EDM deployments. 
  • Lessons learned for future EDM interventions.


For your application to be considered, please name your documents in the following format: Candidate Last Name, First Name, and the Position you are applying for.

Your proposal should consist of the following:

  • Cover letter:
    • Describe your specific approach to implementing this TA. Provide as much detail as possible. 
    • Describe your project management and monitoring strategy for the implementation of the activities.
    • Indicate all personnel who are being proposed to implement this project and their roles and responsibilities.
  • Include all CVs of proposed personnel/experts.
  • Provide estimated level of effort (in days) and consulting rates (in CAD$) for each proposed personnel and/or expert who will be implementing the project. Submit your budget estimate as a separate file.

Proposals can be submitted by a single consultant or a consortium of consultants.

Please submit your application through the Cowater Career Page, including cover letter and application documents outlined above by April 14, 2020.

If you have any questions regarding the position or requirements, inquiries and questions can be sent to .

Please note, applications will not be accepted via email and must be sent through the Cowater Career Page.


With more than 34 years’ experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec, Paris, France, Pretoria, South Africa, and London, United Kingdom, Nairobi, Kenya in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.


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