View Vacancy - Trade Policy Manager, Central America

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Department for International Trade roles (DIT)
Department for International Trade (DIT)

Main purpose of job:

Trade and Investment is at the centre of the British government’s foreign policy. Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, implementing new trade agreements and strengthening existing trade relationships is a top priority, given their potential to open and expand markets for British products and services while providing new opportunities for our partners. The Central American Community is an important and growing partner for the UK and there is real potential to increase and diversify our trade and investment relationship over the coming years.


We are looking for an individual (with relative experience) to support implementation of the new UK-Central America Agreement (which will take effect on 1 January 2021) and lead(with support) on the trade policy and market access work of British embassies in the Central American Region. The role will work in close conjunction with local, regional and London-based trade policy teams.


The jobholder will work with the UK - Central America Agreement Manager in the Department for International Trade (DIT) to develop a delivery plan for implementing the trade elements of the UK-Central America Agreement. In addition, they will work with regional and London colleagues to identify market access barriers and regulatory issues affecting bilateral and regional trade between the UK and Central America, developing strategies to address them. They will also monitor and report on the local trade policy environment and context, and support upskilling of trade policy and market access capability within British embassies in Central America.


The successful applicant will be based in the British Embassy, Panama City and report to the DIT Regional Director for Central America. There will be a need for travel to other British embassies in Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador), and potentially to others in our Latin America and Caribbean network (LATAC).


This is a new role - funded jointly by DIT and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) - and created in recognition of trade policy’s significance to the UK Government’s wider prosperity agenda. It is an exciting time to be working in support of the UK Government’s international trade and investment strategy, leveraging our overseas network to promote British trade and investment across the world, and to support UK business interests. This is a great opportunity to be part of an international team that contributes to a high profile agenda in which UK Ministers are closely engaged.

Roles and responsibilities / what will the jobholder be expected to achieve?

  • Supporting the DIT London Agreement Manager in planning and overseeing the delivery of the trade elements of new UK-Central America Agreement


  • Working with regional and London colleagues to coordinate UK market access work across British Embassies in Central America, ensuring common obstacles to UK firms are tackled (collectively where possible), while identifying their linkages with other bilateral and plurilateral trade issues.


  • Working with regional and bilateral colleagues to understand and develop the UK’s trade policy approach towards Central America, identifying and developing proposals for deeper engagement.

They will be responsible for the following areas of work (subject to change):


1. UK-Central America Agreement (40%)


  • Support the implementation of the trade aspects of UK-Central America Agreement. Working with the DIT London Agreement Manager to develop a delivery plan for implementation, providing input into briefings for the committee and sub-committee meetings (including Identifying barriers that could be addressed through these fora), and coordinating the necessary programmes and logistical arrangements (attending and participating in meetings alongside London and regional colleagues).
  • Operating as the Central American Trade Policy liaison point with key interlocutors across LATAC and Departments in Whitehall (London), helping them to understand the trade policy environment by following policy and legislative changes, including from the point of view of FTA compliance. Aside colleagues in Panama and other British embassies in Central American, your key contacts will be the DIT Bilateral Trade Relations Team in London and DIT Regional Trade Policy Network in LATAC.

    2. Market Access - Strategy Development (40%)


    • Investigate market access barriers affecting UK-Central American trade, drawing on the work of trade and economic teams across the other three British Embassies in the region. Supported by DIT and FCO colleagues analyse and understand these barriers to establish their importance to UK trade, their likelihood of resolution and how they interact with the UK-Central American Agreement.


    • Prepare (joint or individual) bids for Market Access Fund projects on behalf of our Central American embassies, aimed at unlocking identified market access barriers, including through UK capacity sharing with host authorities, visits of subject matter experts, and market analysis.


    3. Trade Policy reporting and upskilling (20%)


    • Research, engagement and reporting on the Central American trade policy environment and local context, providing advice on regional and bilateral trade policy issues, and partner countries approaches to key global and multilateral trade issues – including the global economic response to covid-19 and WTO reform. Lead on reporting, analysis, briefings, presentations on trade policy and market access issues.

    Supporting regional colleagues, in the delivery of trade policy and market access capacity building within our Central American embassies, supporting or leading training/conferences, as required.

    • Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent) in Trade, Public Policy, Economics, International Relations, International Business or related subjects.
    • Relevant experience in trade policy, regulation or related fields.
    • Evidence of strong interpersonal, communication and relationship management skills.
    • Evidence of delivering positive results through collaboration and networks.
    • Evidence of excellent written and spoken communication (English and Spanish). Fluent (at least C1 level)  under CEFR.  

    • Relevant post-graduate qualification.
    • Prior work experience in trade policy or negotiating teams.
    • Knowledge of UK policy and business landscape.

    Seeing the Big Picture, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering at Pace, Engaging Internationally
    9 July 2020
    B3 (L)
    Fixed Term, Full-time, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal
    37 (Net), 41 (gross)
    12 months
    Latin America and Spanish speaking Caribbean
    Panama City
    British Embassy
    24 August 2020

    The successful candidate must be Panamanian, or have a valid and current Work Permit through Ministry of Labour, and be able to provide it when requested by Embassy.  The British Embassy – Panama City does not sponsor work permits. Office hours in the embassy are 8am-5pm Monday to Thursday and 8am-1pm on Fridays, though there is scope for flexible working arrangements, which can be agreed with the Line Manager.

    The British Embassy Network offers a strong benefits package. This package includes generous vacation and leave time, flexible working patterns, and an enriching learning and development opportunities.

    Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Local Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

    This opportunity is closed to applications.