View Vacancy - Market Access Officer

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Other British Government Departments (Partners across Government, including UK Visas)

This is a fascinating time to be working at the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) in the Latin America & the Caribbean (LATAC) region. Trade is at the centre of government policy following the UK’s departure from the European Union. Signing new trade agreements and strengthening existing trade relationships are a top priority for the government, as they have potential to create new markets for British products and services. DBT LATAC works together with FCDO and other HMG departments to deliver against an ambitious Regional Trade Plan to deliver impact for the UK and LATAC.

Central America is an important trading partner for the UK and there is real potential to grow our trade and investment relationship with this region over the coming years.

We are looking for an individual (with relative experience) to deliver the UK’s strategy to identifying, prioritizing and resolving Market Access Barriers (MABs) throughout Central America and oversee deployment of tools, strategies and best practice across the region to remove/overcome Market Access Barriers and ultimately help increase trade with the region.

The jobholder will also support with the implementation of the UK-Central America Agreement and lead (with support) on the delivery and implementation of the trade elements of the UK-Central America Agreement. 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 DBT Regional Director for Central America. There might be a need for travel to other British embassies in Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador), and potentially to others in our LATAC network.

This is a role - funded jointly by DBT and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) - 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 

  • Identifying, prioritising and resolving key market access barriers and regulatory issues affecting bilateral trade.
  • Ensuring Market Access Barriers are logged and up-to-date on DMAS system for all markets, and support efforts to publish MABs where relevant.
  • Monitoring the policy environment, identifying barriers facing UK companies and ensuring this is taken into account in the UK’s wider trade policy objectives in the region.
  • Supporting the DBT 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

 1.     Market Access - Strategy Development (60%)

  • 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 DBT and FCDO 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.

2.     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 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.

3.     UK-Central America Agreement (20%)

  • Support the implementation of the trade aspects of UK-Central America Agreement. Working with the DBT London Agreement Manager to implement the 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).

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.

  • 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).
  • Evidence of being able to work autonomously and delivering at pace.
  • All applicants must be fluent in both English and Spanish

  • Relevant post-graduate qualification.
  • Prior work experience in trade policy or negotiating teams.
  • Knowledge of UK policy and business landscape.
Communicating and Influencing, Delivering at Pace, Making Effective Decisions, Managing a Quality Service
11 December 2023
Executive Officer (EO)
Latin America and Spanish speaking Caribbean
Panama City
British Embassy
29 January 2024

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. Please note that all applicants must be fluent in both English and Spanish. 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. Employees who are not liable to pay local income tax on their Mission salary, eg some non-local national staff and some spouses or partners of UK diplomatic staff, will have their salaries abated by an equivalent amount. Appointable candidates who were unsuccessful may be placed on a ‘reserve list’.  If during the reserve period of 6-12 months the same or a largely similar role becomes available, that role may be offered to the second or subsequent candidate

This job involves flexible working, sometimes working late nights when there are official events. Some travel abroad will be required.

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 Country Based 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.