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Canada-Mexico partnership - 2018 Annual report

Table of contents

Part I: Message from the National Co-Chairs of the Canada-Mexico Partnership

As the National Co-Chairs it gives us great pleasure to present the 2018 Annual Report of the Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP). Once again, the CMP demonstrated its value as the pre-eminent working-level mechanism to advance bilateral economic cooperation on issues of mutual importance between Mexico and Canada. The CMP is a unique mechanism that includes a plurality of stakeholders from the private and public sectors, who meet annually despite change at the political level. The enduring success of the CMP is evidence of its relevance, which it maintains by continually adapting to reflect the priorities established by the stakeholders in both countries. The ultimate goal of the CMP is to provide a space for stakeholder engagement on key priorities with a view to developing strategies to increase our economic competitiveness and enhance bilateral cooperation on issues such as: agri-business; trade, investment and innovation; environment; energy; forestry; human capital; mining and creativity and culture.

The 2018 Annual Report presents an impressive array of results of the 14th Annual Canada–Mexico Partnership Meeting, which was held in Ottawa on October 11th and 12th, 2018.  The achieved outcomes reflect the deepening bilateral relationship and shared values, as well as the importance that both countries place on delivering on jointly agreed-to objectives.  

The 2018 CMP took place over a day and a half, with the first day dedicated to reviewing results achieved in the past year and setting priorities for the coming year. While three of the working groups met in person (Mining; Trade, Investment and Innovation; Human Capital; and Creativity and Culture) others held video/ teleconference sessions (Forestry; Energy; and Environment). On the second day, co-chairs of the 7 working groups presented the main outcomes of their deliberations in an open plenary to the National Co-chairs. As national co-chairs, we commended the level of ambition and detailed agendas presented, while noting the many cross-walks to and opportunities for cross-sectoral collaboration between the working groups.

We wish to particularly recognize and thank the engagement and active participation of the private sector and of non-governmental organizations in the working groups which has increased throughout the years and which greatly enriches the CMP process. Canadian provinces and the private industry are also important stakeholders. We would like to particularly highlight the participation of the provinces of Québec and Alberta during the 2018 CMP meeting.

As National Co-chairs, we stand ready to assist in the implementation of the proposals and commitments agreed to during the 14th meeting with a view to making the CMP an even more dynamic, innovative, integrated and efficient mechanism across the public and private sectors of our two countries in the coming years.

We extend our gratitude to all the co-chairs and members of the working groups for their participation, renewed commitment and valuable contribution to strengthening the CMP and by extension, our bilateral relations. We are confident that 2019 will be as successful as past years in contributing to the reinvigorated Canada-Mexico bilateral relationship.

Carlos Sada
Undersecretary for North America
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico

Michael Grant
Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas
Global Affairs Canada

Part II: Profile and 2018 Institutional Report of the Canada-Mexico Partnership

The CMP was launched in 2004 by the governments of Canada and Mexico as a bilateral initiative to promote public-private cooperation. It involves participants from the Canadian and Mexican governments, business sectors and other stakeholders. The CMP is organized around eight Working Groups with the goal to enhance collaboration in their respective sectors of interest. While each Working Group functions autonomously throughout the year, all CMP members gather together for an annual meeting, which is hosted on an alternating basis by each country. The most recent meeting took place in Ottawa, October 11th and 12th, 2018.

While the CMP involves a wide spectrum of actors from different government departments, the overall coordination and management of the CMP is jointly led by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico (SRE). The national co-chairs are the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas at Global Affairs Canada and the Undersecretary for North America at the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs.

Subject to Ongoing Review

The CMP was designed from the beginning as a flexible entity, subject to ongoing revision and adjustment to best reflect the changing dynamics and priorities of our respective governments and societies. In fact, over the years, working groups have evolved: new Working Groups have been formed; co-chairs’ responsibilities have changed; some groups have amalgamated, while others have split off, or even disbanded altogether; meanwhile, other groups have reviewed and modified their mandates and focus. For example, this year, Canadian co-chairs of the Labour Mobility Working Group (LMWG), represented by both ESDC and IRCC, came to the conclusion that after 12 years of existence, this group had met its objectives. The LMWG was established in 2006 to discuss and address the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and related measures that facilitate the labour mobility of temporary Mexican workers into the Canadian market in an ordered, legal and safe manner. Since 2015, efforts were made to align labour market interests on both sides, but given the results of this approach,  the Canadian co-chairs proposed that any issues related to labour mobility could be addressed by other existing bilateral mechanisms. The issue of labour mobility will continue to be addressed as a transversal issue in other Working Groups (eg: mining).

Ongoing revitalization and revision of the CMP is consistent with past practices and can further stimulate synergies and innovation, streamline Working Groups, and achieve greater involvement from participants outside of government, including state/provincial authorities, representatives from the private sector, non-governmental organizations and academia.

Working Groups and activities of the CMP

Activities of the eight Working Groups of the CMP define the work of the Partnership as a whole. Each working group is co-chaired by a Canadian and Mexican senior government official from the appropriate ministries. Currently the eight Working Groups are:

  • Agri-business
  • Creativity and Culture
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Forestry
  • Human Capital
  • Mining
  • Trade, Investment and Innovation

The Canadian Working Group co-chairs come from the following institutions: Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Canadian Heritage (PCH), Canadian Forest Service (CFS), Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (CanCham) and TransCanada Pipelines Ltd.

Mexican working group co-chairs are from the following institutions and agencies: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Ministry of Energy (SENER), Ministry of Economy (SE), Ministry of Culture (SC), Ministry of Agriculture, and Rural Development (SADER), the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), National Agricultural Council (CNA) and the Council of Mexican Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE).

Annual meetings of the CMP

Mexico and Canada alternate hosting duties each year. The annual meetings serve as a focal point for the reorientation of the activities of the Working Groups and at the same time offer the opportunity for national co-chairs of each group to analyze the performance, efficiency and future direction for their Working Groups and the Partnership as a whole. The main objective of the meeting is to adopt and promote a strategic vision and work plan, aligned with the priorities of the bilateral agenda.

Some Working Groups hold joint meetings in order to share experiences, build partnerships, and identify and develop cross-cutting projects. The CMP also promotes the participation of other stakeholders in the annual meetings, including academic and private sector leaders from both countries and from the Canadian provinces and Mexican states, which in the past has led the participation of representatives from Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, Quebec, Jalisco and Morelos.

Overall, the annual meeting serves as a space to highlight the impact of this Partnership on the bilateral relationship, in which all participants can exchange views, experiences and best practices, and it provides a networking stage for all its members. It is more than the sum of the Working Groups of the Partnership; it is an important mechanism to promote the bilateral relationship.

The CMP has held the following annual meetings:

I - Ottawa, Ontario - October 25, 2004
II - Vancouver, British Columbia - September 30, 2005
III- Mexico City, D.F. - March 7, 2007
IV - Kanata, Ontario - March 4-5, 2008
V - Jiutepec, Morelos - March 23-24, 2009
VI - Niagara on the Lake, Ontario - April 19-20, 2010
VII - Mexico City, D.F. - April 7-8, 2011
VIII - Ottawa, Ontario - May 29-30, 2012
IX - Mexico City, D.F. - July 8-9, 2013
X - Calgary, Alberta - September 8-10, 2014.
XI - Mexico City, D.F. - November, 25-26, 2015
XII - Ottawa, Ontario - November, 23-24, 2016
XIII - Mexico City, CDMX - November, 23-24, 2017
XIV - Ottawa, Ontario - October, 11-12, 2018

Part III Reports of the Working Groups

Creativity and Culture Working Group

Mexican Co-Chair

Jimena Lara Estrada
Director General, International Affairs,
Secretariat of Culture

Canadian Co-Chair

Christine Angelo
Director, International Trade Operations, Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH)

I. Introduction

Given scheduling conflicts between Canadian and Mexican Co-Chairs, the CCWG meeting occurred on October 15, 2018.  This second annual meeting of the CCWG provided an opportunity to:

  • discuss the successes, challenges and opportunities in delivering key items identified in the Action Plan;
  • identify new items to be added to the Action Plan to further the collaboration between Canada and Mexico; and
  • discuss engagement opportunities by Portfolio partners on items that fall outside of the Action Plan.

Participation included representatives from the federal government of Mexico (Secretariat of Culture; Mexican Embassy in Canada); the federal government of Canada (Global Affairs Canada; Canadian Heritage; Parks Canada); Canadian portfolio partners (Canadian Council for the Arts (CCA), Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund (CMF)); and Mexican portfolio partners (IMCINE, National Institute of Anthropology and History).
Prior to meetings, the CCWG and the Trade, Investment and Innovation Working Group (TIIWG) held a joint session where the CCWG Co-Chairs joined the TIIWG session.  During the session, it was agreed that both working groups would continue to work closely together on key issues, such as trade in the creative industry sector, and potential identify 1-2 projects that could be supported by both working groups.

II. Results

Throughout the meetings with officials, topics including the review of the Broadcasting Act, online cultural diversity, creative residencies, coproduction treaty in the audiovisual sector, increased collaboration in the publishing sector, co-development / co-production incentives between the CMF and IMCINE, the Canada NOW film series developed by Telefilm Canada and the Adopt-a-monument project.

A. Review of the Broadcasting Act

Canadian Heritage officials presented an overview of the current review underway of the Broadcasting Act, which includes the following topics:

  • Broadcasting definitions
  • Broadcasting Policy Objectives
  • Support for Canadian Content and Creative Industries
  • Democracy, News, and Citizenship
  • Cultural Diversity
  • National Public Broadcaster
  • Governance and Effective Administration

B. Online cultural diversity

Canadian Heritage officials also discussed the recently signed Declaration with France, entitled “Joint Declaration on Cultural Diversity and the Digital Space”.

C. Creative residencies

Secretariat of Culture and Canadian Heritage officials discussed the issue of creative residencies as an important mechanism to foster collaborative relationships and innovation between Canadian and Mexican artists. 

D. Coproduction Treaties in the Audiovisual sector

Secretariat of Culture and Canadian Heritage officials discussed the current coproduction treaty in the audiovisual sector between Canada and Mexico. 

E. Increased collaboration in the publishing sector

Secretariat of Culture officials expressed an interest in seeing enhanced collaboration between Canada and Mexico in the publishing sector, in particular in the children and youth sector. 

F. Co-development / co-production incentives between the CMF and IMCINE

Officials from the CMF and IMCINE discussed the ongoing negotiation of a co-production / co-development incentive program and ways to ensure uptake in the program.

G. Canada NOW film series

Telefilm Canada officials discussed the work undertaken for the 2nd edition of the Canada NOW film series. 

H. Adopt-a-monument project

Secretariat of Culture officials presented the “Adopt-a-monument” project where foreign government provide technical and/or financial help to restore historical monuments following the 2017 earthquakes.  Parks Canada officials acknowledged that financial support was unlikely, however, did indicate that it had technical expertise on hand.

III. Results

A. Review of the Broadcasting Act

Canadian Heritage officials to provide additional information on the review of the Broadcasting Act, including the terms of reference.

B. Online cultural diversity

Canadian Heritage officials have provided a copy of the signed Joint Declaration.

C. Creative residencies

Canadian and Mexican officials will continue to analyse the potential for creative residencies and eventually work with a third party (i.e. domestic festival organizers) to determine their feasibility.

D. Coproduction Treaties in the Audiovisual sector

Officials agree that the treaty, in itself, is well suited for collaboration but additional discussions need to occur to identify ways to increase the uptake in coproductions.

E. Increased collaboration in the publishing sector

Funds administered by the CCA and FONCA (National fund for Culture in Mexico) could be a mechanism to facilitate the translation of published works.

F. Co-development / co-production incentives between the CMF and IMCINE

Continued negotiation of the program with a potential date for an announcement.

G. Canada NOW film series

Telefilm Canada officials discussed the work undertaken for the 2nd edition of the Canada NOW film series.  This second edition will likely include 7 films shown in 18 Mexican cities and will be launched at the end of March 2019.

H. Adopt-a-monument project

Parks Canada and Canadian Heritage officials to discuss the feasibility of supporting a Canadian technical expert to be sent down to Mexico City.

IV. Challenges and opportunities

Both Co-Chairs identified the need to continue the close collaborative relationship of the CCWG. 

The participants also identified the need to foster an increased participation / involvement of the private sector in future CCWG meetings.

The CCWG highlighted the continued importance to engage and work closely with other CMP working groups, in particular the TIIWG, to identify potential areas of mutual interest.

Energy Working Group

Mexican Co-Chair

Alejandro Amerena Carswell
Director General of International Affairs,
Ministry of Energy (SENER)

Canadian Co-Chair

Yiotta Kokkinos
Director General, Energy Safety and Security Branch and International Energy
Natural Resources Canada(NRCan)
(for Canadian public sector)

Summary

The Canada-Mexico Partnership’s Energy Working Group (EWG) meeting was held on October 11, 2018 via videoconference.  The EWG meeting allowed participants to address four key topics:

  • Energy policy priorities in Canada and Mexico
  • Indigenous consultation and participation in energy resource development projects
  • Regulatory cooperation
  • Clean energy technology, innovation and talent development

Both Canada and Mexico were pleased to have the opportunity to discuss potential areas of collaboration, although the fact that the meeting fell within the post-election transition period constrained both party’s ability to make firm commitments. The successful visit of Mexico’s Designated Secretary of Energy Rocio Nahle following the CMP EWG meeting was a strong signal of the new Administration’s desire to continue to work with Canada.

1. Energy Policy Priorities in Canada and Mexico

Canada and Mexico took advantage of the opportunity to outline their respective priorities for energy resource development and discuss the implications for future cooperation, both in a bilateral context, and across North America.  Canadian and Mexican participants acknowledged their energy policy decision-making takes place within the broader context of an increasingly integrated North American energy market and noted there has been a trend towards greater alignment between Canadian and Mexican energy policy in recent years. 

Canada and Mexico acknowledged that this year’s meeting involved only public sector participants from each country.  The absence of private sector participation was noted as a reflection of the limits of holding the meeting via Videoconference.  Still, the Co-Chairs agreed that private sector participation remains integral to the Energy Working Group and committed to fostering its participation in future meetings.

Mexico outlined its energy context and objectives during the period from 2012-2018 highlighting the importance of foreign direct investment to achieving its objectives for attracting capital and technology with a view towards increasing production from unconventional and deep water resources, as well as fostering competition to offer clean electricity at affordable prices.  Canadian investment in renewable power production, pipelines and oil production were noted.  Canada identified its key priorities for diversifying its energy export markets, modernizing its regulatory system, and advancing environmental and social leadership, all while building a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples.  Canadian and Mexican participants acknowledged the benefits of bilateral cooperation on shared priorities for improving Indigenous consultation on energy resource development projects, fostering more effective and efficient regulations, and enhancing clean energy technology development and innovation. In the North American context, shared priorities for energy security, trade and diversification were also confirmed. 

Canada also raised two initiatives to enhance the participation of women in the energy sector, encouraging Mexico to participate in both the Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment Initiative (C3E) as well as the Equal by 30 Campaign.

2. Indigenous consultations for the development of energy projects

Canada opened this session by sharing recent developments in its efforts to go beyond the fulfilment of its duty to consult Indigenous communities on energy resource development projects.  The measures discussed include building capacity and supporting involvement in projects, advancing policy and legislative changes to help ensure more meaningful and inclusive consultation and engagement, as well as building partnerships with Indigenous peoples and increasing the recognition and respect of Indigenous knowledge.

Mexico shared its efforts on implementing indigenous consultations since the implementation of Energy Reforms. Since 2014, 20 consultation processes have taken place, considering 92 indigenous peoples from 16 Mexican states. 19 processes were successfully approved via free, previous, and informed consultations. The main challenges in Mexico focus on the creation of a law to regulate consultation processes and on the harmonization of criteria with the Judiciary so that decisions regarding energy projects ensure the protection of consultation rights.

The Session provided an opportunity to take stock of Canada-Mexico collaboration to date, including the recommendations stemming from two workshops held jointly by Canada and Mexico in 2015 and 2017 (more below).   The Alberta Energy Regulator has worked with several Mexican regulatory agencies to develop and provide training on this issue, providing technical personnel with important insight in the reviewing of projects involving indigenous communities.

Looking forward it was agreed that the focus of future work would include efforts to jointly tackle the key issues identified through the workshops and in recent bilateral discussions, namely:

  1. Developing a better understanding of the processes and steps involved with integrating Indigenous consultation into the regulatory review of projects, including the timing of information sharing and heightening awareness on the importance of Indigenous knowledge;
  2. Collaborating on advancing and understanding different mechanisms and opportunities for conflict resolution that can help build consensus towards successful outcomes and compromise;
  3. Establishing a clear basis and parameters for building fair and equitable benefit sharing on projects that impact Indigenous communities;
  4. Exploring the potential for broadening the scope of the EWG’s work in this area to include other relevant governmental agencies (mining, transportation, environment) in discussions about taking a broader government approach.

As a next step, both parties will explore the possibility of carrying out visits from representatives of Mexican and Canadian indigenous communities to share lessons learned in negotiation capabilities and strengthen intra-community ties.

3. Regulatory cooperation

Regulatory cooperation was highlighted as a core activity in Canada-Mexico bilateral partnership.  The session opened with Mexico’s regulatory agencies providing an overview and presenting their perspective on bilateral activities in this area.  The scope of work discussed included:

  1. In 2017, the National Energy Board (NEB) entered into agreements with Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) and National Agency for Safety, Energy and Environment (ASEA). These cooperative agreements support the sharing of information and expertise to enhance collaboration and regulatory outcomes. They have been working together to advance collaborative activities covering topics such as lifecycle of projects and indexes for security, including other relevant regulators in Mexico such as the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) and ASEA.
  2. Under the NEB’s agreement with ASEA, the two parties have been collaborating on the culture of regulatory bodies, building of safety culture, management systems and performance measurement, and regulatory independence. The collaboration has extended beyond the agreement, carrying out joint work under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) undertaking research on safety culture at a broader international level. The OECD’s work is now ongoing.
  3. Since 2014, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has collaborated closely with regulatory institutions in the Mexican energy sector to deliver training on best practices for the development of unconventional hydrocarbons as well as technical and high-level workshops with SENER, CNH, CRE, the  National Gas Control Center (CENAGAS) and ASEA. Human resources development specializing in hydrocarbon regulation through the launch of the International Center of Regulatory Excellence (ICORE), in February 2017, has been another key initiative.

It was noted that Mexico is at an important point in the development of its energy resources as production of unconventional oil and gas resources and in the deep offshore is set to increase.  In this context, CNH is reviewing and updating its regulations and has key interests in building knowledge, information and best practice-sharing with its Canadian counterparts in four areas: exploration and development plans, drilling permits, emission reduction, and oversight inspections.    Canada’s National Energy Board, for its part, reiterated its commitment to continued collaboration with its Mexican counterparts, as did the Government of Alberta. 

The session identified as a next step, the organization of in-person workshops in 2019, with agendas built around themes set out in each of the MOUs.  It is proposed that the Regulatory Cooperation workshops be organised with the participation – including but not limited to – the relevant regulatory agencies who have ongoing collaborations, namely Mexico’s CNH, CRE, and ASEA and Canada’s NEB and AER.

In addition, CRE indicated that it has developed relevant initiatives regarding the inclusion of women in energy and that it could be an interesting opportunity to collaborate with Canada to enhance gender perspective in the energy sector. 

4. Clean energy technology, innovation and talent development

This session highlighted progress in several areas of bilateral collaboration, including under the Mission Innovation initiative.  The clean energy materials and sustainable biofuels innovation challenges were profiled, in addition to  Canada’s work in supporting the demonstration of technologies that reduce GHG emissions from Mexico’s oil and gas sector. Mexico noted its commitment to reduce methane emissions by 45% and black carbon emissions by 55% by 2030. Canada-Mexico engagement on reducing short lived climate pollutants such as methane and black carbon will contribute to achieving Mexico’s climate objectives under the Paris Agreement. Other key objectives of Canada-Mexico collaboration in oil and gas emission reduction include improving the production and conservation of hydrocarbons across PEMEX operations and unlocking global financing for related projects through sources such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF). 

Mexico also shared information regarding ongoing research programs developed with Canadian institutions such as the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta and the International Centre of Regulatory Excellence (ICORE):

  1. Knowledge network for heavy and extra heavy oils (University of Calgary)
  2. Zero incidents in the Mexican pipelines network (University of Calgary)
  3. Observatory of talent and value chains of the hydrocarbons subsector            (University of Calgary)
  4. Solutions for mature and unconventional fields (University of Calgary)
  5. Geomechanics of the deposit and well for mature fields and unconventional deposits (University of Alberta)                                             
  6. Capacity building and talent development in the Hydrocarbons Sector (University of Alberta)
  7. Industrial transformation and refining of heavy crudes (University of Alberta)
  8. Institutional strengthening of the hydrocarbons subsector (ICORE)

Since the introduction of Mexico’s Energy Reform, Canada has become the 4th most popular destination for postgraduate Mexican students carrying out studies on hydrocarbons and energy sustainability.

Mexico also commented that Canadian companies can now build partnerships with a Mexican counterpart to obtain recognition of their innovations as clean technologies by the Mexican government. This recognition allows companies to obtain clean energy certificates before CRE and help achieve emission reduction goals in Mexico.

An immediate next step in collaboration, as a result of the 5th Trilateral Meeting on CCUS, SENER and NRCan have started collaboration with stakeholders from the cement industry to develop new projects to reduce CO2 emissions from this sector. Their first meeting will take place on November 8, 2018.

5. Next Steps

Holding the next meeting of the Energy Working Group in early 2019 in Mexico was discussed as a key next step. Canada underlined its interests in gaining further insight in the energy priorities of the new Administration and discussing how Canada and Mexico a can advance their shared priorities more effectively.

Environment working group

Mexican Co-Chair

Enrique Lendo
Chief of the International Affairs Coordination Unit (UCAI)
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT)

Canadian Co-Chair

Daniel Hallman (on behalf of Lucie Desforges)
Director, Americas Division, International Affairs Branch, Ministry of Environment and
Climate Change Canada (ECCC)

I. Introduction and objectives

The 14th Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP) took place in Ottawa on October 11-12, 2018. The Environment Working Group met for two hours via videoconference, focussing on updates on ongoing work and identifying topics of mutual interest for future discussions.

II. Results

1. Biodiversity and protected areas

ECCC and SEMARNAT provided updates on a Workshop on Biodiversity and DNA Barcoding, held in February 2018, in Mexico City. This workshop was appreciated by participants, who identified a number of next steps (see section III).

The Canadian Wildlife Service and Mexico’s previous Undersecretariat of Environmental Protection and Regulations highlighted the relevance of Canada-Mexico collaboration in the context of preparations for COP14 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held in Egypt on November 17 to 29, 2018.

2. Climate change

ECCC presented the Canada-Mexico Bilateral Initiative (CMBI), for which ECCC is providing $7 million over four years (2017-2021), to support NDC implementation in Mexico’s oil and gas sector. This is part of Canada’s $2.65 billion climate financing pledge. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is providing an additional $2 million to support black carbon measurement research elements of the project. The objective of the CMBI is to identify opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas and short-lived climate pollutant emissions in the oil and gas sector in a cost-effective and high-impact manner that also yields local environmental, economic and human health co-benefits. The CMBI’s Project Management Team includes representatives from SEMARNAT, Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), ECCC, and Natural Resources Canada NRCan. The project implementer is Clearstone Engineering Ltd.

INECC presented results of the UNDP Canada-Mexico Climate Change and Green Growth Platform (2013-2018), an initiative funded by Canada’s Fast Start climate change financing package. The objective was to generate information for decision making and public investment in Mexico to contribute to the reduction of culnerability and strengthen capacities for climate change mitigation and adaptation, which could lead to South-South cooperation. As part of this project, the following results were obtained:

  1. Climate modeling - Development of climate change scenarios at local and regional scale, extreme climate events impact evaluation as well as from climate change, and consolidation of the National Climate Modeling Network.
  2. Evaluation of vulnerability and climatic risks - Studies on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate variability:
    • Ecosystems, natural resources, regions, productive and economic sectors.
    • Adaptive capabilities in Mexico.
    • Indicators to assess vulnerability to climate change.
  3. South-South cooperation in adaptation and mitigation - Investment and regional cooperation analysis to promote knowledge and experiences exchange with Latin America and the Caribbean. In this regard, a thematic portfolio of South-South cooperation areas and activities of INECC with academic centers of research and excellence in Latin America and the Caribbean was developed.
  4. Tracking of financing flows for climate change in the environmental sector - Identification of national and international financial flows received for climate change and evaluation of studies and agreements of international cooperation in the environmental sector of Mexico.

INECC, in collaboration with the UNDP, will prepare a report on the results of the Platform, which will be shared with ECCC.
Since the 2017 CMP meeting, the Environment Working Group also organized the following activities:

  • A Workshop on Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV), held in December 2017, in Mexico City, Mexico; and,
  • A Regional Workshop on the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change, held in May 2018, in Gatineau, Canada.

3. Resiliency in the Mesoamerican region

SEMARNAT presented the achievements of Proyecto Mesoamérica (“Mesoamerican Project”) and its Strategy for Environmental Sustainability (EMSA: Estrategia Mesoamericana de Sustentabilidad Ambiental).
Resiliency in the Mesoamerican region (Central America and the Caribbean) is a priority for ECCC and SEMARNAT. Both countries also recognize the need to ensure access to climate finance.

III. Future Activities

1. Biodiversity and protected areas

The Environment Working Group will organize a videoconference to follow up on the Workshop on Biodiversity and DNA Barcoding, and could invite previous participants such as the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (University of Guelph), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Canadian Border Services Agency, and academics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Discussions could involve: providing mobile equipment for the analysis of DNA barcodes; information sharing on the taxonomy and trade of Holoturoidea (Sea Cucumber), Palisandro (Rosewood), Shark species and the Totoaba, and on Mexico’s new national standards regarding the illegal trade of endangered species. 

In addition, cooperation on the CBD will continue, focussing on COP14 and the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.

2. Canada-Mexico Bilateral Initiative (CMBI)

In addition to continued updates on the CMBI’s progress and results, ECCC has proposed that the CMP Environment Working Group could serve as the forum to hold a government-to-government dialogue to explore the possibilities for ITMOs, using the CMBI as a pilot study. In addition, a joint session with the Energy Working Group, focused on finance opportunities within the CMBI, could be considered.

3. Carbon pricing

Future areas of collaboration could include continued collaboration on MRV, and exchanges on experiences cooperating with sub-national levels of government. 

4. Water management

An exploratory discussion on water management would allow for better understanding of how water policies are organized in each country, with a view to identifying themes for potential further discussions.  

5. Ocean plastics

Ocean plastics pollution is an issue of growing global concern and would be a relevant issue to be addressed bilaterally through the Environment Working Group, where other ocean-related issues could also be explored, including conservation of coastal zones, adaptation based on ecosystems, blue carbon, etc.

6. Investment possibilities for clean technologies

Future discussions could address the role of the private sector in helping to adapt to and mitigate climate change, including through identifying investment opportunities for innovation and transfer of clean technologies. A joint session with the Mining, the Energy and the Trade, Investment and Innovation Working Groups could be considered. 

7. Indigenous participation in environmental decision-making

Potential areas for mutual learning and information exchange include environmental review processes, conflict resolution, and skills and employment opportunities for communities. There is also an interest from the Environment, Mining and Energy Working Groups to develop a joint project related to Indigenous consultation and participation in resource development.

8. Mining standards and regulations

Building on discussions held this year in the Mining Working Group, themes to be addressed in the future could include voluntary mechanisms, environmental certification in the mining sector and Indigenous engagement. These themes could be addressed jointly with the Mining Working Group, as has been done in the past.

IV. Challenges and opportunities

In the context of Mexico’s federal government transition, no formal decisions were taken regarding the Environment Working Group’s Work Plan. Nevertheless, opportunities flowed from the discussion:

  • An in-person meeting in Mexico, in the first half of 2019, once the new Mexican administration is in place, would be an opportunity to continue to strengthen the environmental cooperation between the two countries. This meeting could include discussion on the topics identified for continued and future cooperation, as well as formal agreement on the Environment Working Group’s Work Plan for 2019.
  • The Environment Working Group has an interest in collaborating with other working groups in order to address cross-cutting themes and seek to foster interdisciplinary solutions.
  • In the context of the development of the CBD’s Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, continued collaboration on the CBD is valuable to Canada and Mexico.
  • The CMBI’s inclusion in the Environment Working Group’s Work Plan would allow for regular sharing of updates and results of the CMBI, as well as foster related discussions. Already, the Environment Working Group hopes to convene a government-to-government dialogue on ITMOs in the context of this project. Going forward, there may be more opportunities to cooperate on emissions reductions in support of the Paris Agreement, in order to establish a deeper follow-up and initiate a dialogue within the framework of the Environment Working Group.

Finally, synergies between the Canada Mexico Partnership and the current activities developed by the Mexico National Weather Service of CONAGUA with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America will be enhanced. The following topics will be initially proposed:  

  • Improvement of local capacity to monitor drought in North America.
  • Use of satellite images for disaster risk reduction.
  • Measuring of flood costs and other extreme events.
  • Use volunteer observer networks to address information gaps to predict and monitor extreme events.

Forestry working group

Mexican Co-Chair

Berenice Hernández Toro
Head of the International Affairs and Financing Development Unit
National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR)

Canadian Co-Chair

John Kozij
Director General, Trade, Economics and Industry Branch
Natural Resources Canada –
Canadian Forest Service (CFS)

Working Group Status

The Forestry Working Group (FWG) continues to have regular engagement between Canadian and Mexican participants. Areas of mutual interest for cooperation identified by the FWG include: forest carbon accounting; wildland fire management; and, exploring the potential of building with wood in the construction industry.  This focused approach has proven to be effective for advancing bilateral science and technology cooperation as well as emergency response cooperation and assistance between our two countries.

Completed activities for 2017-18 include the following:

Forest Carbon Accounting

Cooperation has been focused on improving analytical tools, with focus on regional-scale mitigation options in six pilot regions in Mexico, Canada and the US.

Throughout this past year CONAFOR and CFS promoted technical exchange and scientific discussion of joint activities by holding a total of five workshops and special sessions1 in December (2017), April, May, July and September (2018). Participants included local foresters as well as government and academia representatives from Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Brazil, USA, and the UK Space Agency. 
The regional mitigation study work for Mexico was published in a special focus issue on the role of forests and soils in meeting climate change mitigation goals in Environmental Research Letters: “Applying a systems approach to assess carbon emission reductions from climate change mitigation in Mexico’s forest sector”.

The study concluded the relative impact of mitigation activities is locally dependent, suggesting that mitigation strategies should be designed and implemented at sub-national scales. The paper also highlights the need to apply a systems approach to effectively assess the mitigation potential of the forest sector, by combing emissions reductions from the forest ecosystems (e.g., improved productivity and harvests rates, avoided deforestation) with the production of long-lived products and the use of these products to substitute more energy-intensive materials (e.g., steel, concrete).

Supported by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), the Canadian Forest Service, Mexico’s CONAFOR, and the US Forest Service jointly published three papers on the forest carbon dynamics in North America. This research demonstrates how the forest sector can make a meaningful contribution to the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and how carbon accounting tools such as the CFS-Carbon Budget Model are used to assist in the calculation of reference levels and mitigation options.

During the CMP annual meeting in November 2017, CONAFOR’s Head of the Climate Change program, Dr. Enrique Serrano expressed a strong desire to continue the forest sector carbon accounting collaboration between CFS and CONAFOR.  Mexico signalled they would submit a funding request to the World Bank to support some of this work, however Dr. Serrano left CONAFOR early in the year and unfortunately, in addition to Dr Serrano’s departure, his colleague, Francisco Quiroz, who was the Forestry WG co-chair and head of the Finance and International Affairs Unit at CONAFOR passed away in March.

Despite these setbacks, there remains interest from CONAFOR and CFS staff to expand the analyses conducted (and published) to other forested areas of Mexico. However, with the lack of financial support this is currently not possible.  Finding resources, both financial and human is a prerequisite to furthering this collaborative work.  In this context, the FWG will continue to advance with further training of the CFS-Carbon Budget Model and a next-generation spatially-explicit model (the Generic Carbon Budget Model, GCBM) (scheduled for the first quarter of 2019) and develop a work plan focussing on mobilizing resources.  A post-doctoral researcher from the Geography Institute of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México will participate in the next scheduled CBM-CFS3 training in Victoria (December 2018), and experts from Conafor has also been invited to that training.

Wildland Fire Management

Collaboration in fire management has been continuous and highly successful – both in the areas of exchange of resources for wildland fire management and in the development of a fire danger rating system.

Exchange of resources for wildland fire management

The deployment of human resources to assist with wildland fire fighting, in addition to fulfilling the objective of mutual aid, has contributed to improved human resource capacity, preparedness, management and suppression of wildland fires during escalated fire seasons, and advanced the adoption of standards and the development of professional protocol.

In 2018, Mexico sent 536 firefighters and technicians, in a total of six deployments to support suppression of wildland fires in the Provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. Several women participated in three of the deployments.

Mexico’s support was recognized by the Prime Minister of Canada in his visit to British Columbia on August 23, 2018.

Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, at the Regional Center of fire management in British Columbia. During his visit, Trudeau chatted with the Manager of Mexico’s Fire Management Program, Alfredo Morales Nolasco, who expressed solidarity of the Mexican people with Canada.

Based upon the succcess, relevance and utility over the past five years, the Wildland Fire Resource Cooperation MoU between Canadian and Mexican participants was renewed in August 2018 for an additional five years with automatic five year renewal terms. 

Moreover, in support of the MoU, the annual Operating Plan for 2018 was finalized in February 2018 by CONAFOR and the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIIFC) with input from Provinces/Territories. 

The Operating Plan further strengthens and provides the mechanism to implement cooperation relating to wildfire management and pooling necessary resources during times of crisis.

CIFFC and CONAFOR staff during fire management working session at CONAFOR Headquarters Feb 21 - 22  2018, Zapopan, Jalisco, México (front right – the late Francisco Quiroz Acosta, Forestry WG Co-Chair for whom this report is dedicated).

Development of a fire danger rating system.

CONAFOR personnel working with the Canadian fire information toolbox (CFIT) continued throughout the year to seek guidance and support specific to upgrading computer software and hardware to improve performance of the toolset.  CFIT tools were used to calculate fire weather indices and create maps for the state of Baja California during the wildfire season.

A new Mexican Fire Danger Rating System is being unveiled in late 2018. CONAFOR staff have acknowledged the Canadian Forest Service led technology and knowledge transfer has been fundamental to the design of Mexico’s new system that incorporates elements of both weather and social risk.

Building with Wood:

NRCan-Canadian Forest Service Senior Research Advisor, Dr. Mohammad Mohammad participated as a key note speaker at the 2018 International Forestry Conference in Durango (April 2018).  Dr. Mohammad highlighted advanced new technologies for the construction industry  in Canada -including the development of new mass timber products and systems, tall wood buildings activities, government of Canada’s previous and current policies in support of expanding the use of wood in construction; revisions to Canadian building codes, industry transformation to improve competitiveness and the environmental benefits of building with wood. A 3D video that provides a virtual reality tour of Canada’s tallest wood building at 18 storeys was displayed at a booth at the conference and attracted a lot of interest.

Based on the experience in Canada, Mexico has begun promoting the use of wood in construction through a demonstration initiative involving a call for proposals to construct a demonstration building up to four storeys.  Mexican academia expressed interest in touring some of the modern mass timber projects and manufacturing plants in Canada and visit some of the Canadian engineering firms involved in the design and construction of mass timber projects. CFS has been helping by connecting the Mexican colleagues with key stakeholders in Canada to facilitate such visits and tours.

Future Activities:

Wildland Fire Management

  1. Review and update of the Operating Plan for its implementation in 2019 and explore the possibility of a developing a multi-year plan that would be strategic for improving human resource capacities in both Mexico and Canada.
  2. Continue to advance in the promotion and training of gender perspective in wildland fire management, logistics and firefighting activities.
  3. Launch/implementation of the Forest Fire Danger Rating System in Mexico and share lessons learned.
  4. Joint assessment of areas impacted by wildfires through remote sensing (satellite imagery) involving Mexican and Canadian scientists (medium term).

Carbon Accounting

  1. Within the framework of the Sustainable Forest Landscapes Initiative (BioCarbon Fund-World Bank), Mexico will lead in the develop a project proposal for financing the required work specific to forest carbon accounting and analysis of mitigation options. NRCan-CFS to provide technical assistance and support in project proposal development as required.
  2. To support the implementation of science-based mitigation activities and reduce GHG emissions, communicate results of current work and advance capacities in forest carbon accounting at a workshop in Mexico (early 2019). 

Building with Wood

  1. Exchange information on Green Construction with Wood, including but not limited to revisions to building codes, research and development activities (i.e., fire and structural testing, case studies, etc.), support for demonstration projects and higher education and training.
  2. Explore possibilities for organizing a Mexican delegation tour  to Canada to visit  modern wood building projects and manufacturing plans targeting  architects, industrial associations, private builders, housing sector officials, etc.

Other Areas of Potential Collaboration:

Explore mechanisms for the traceability of timber and forest products across borders, the promotion of certification schemes to facilitate verification of legality and processes to improve phytosanitary quality of timber.

Challenges and opportunities

It should be recognized that the Forestry Working Group operates with the existing financial and human resource support (including volunteers) provided by the governments and organizations of its member countries. In this context, measures of success should consider the context of leveraging existing resources and ability to collaborate in areas of mutual interest.

Human Capital working group

Mexican Co-Chair
Dr. Martha Navarro-Albo
Director General, Technical and Scientific Cooperation
Mexican Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AMEXCID)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE)

CANADIAN CO-CHAIR
Jennifer Daubeny
Executive Director, International Education Division
Global Affairs Canada (GAC)

Introduction and Overview

Over fifty members participated in the 14th meeting of the Human Capital Working Group (HCWG) on October 11, 2018 in Ottawa, Canada, highlighting the continued interest in bringing together government and other stakeholders to forge new linkages and initiatives that will contribute to the expansion of our human capital.  This year the Co-Chairs followed up on the Final Report from 2017, highlighted the key results from the Action Plan 2017-2018, and chaired an interactive discussion focused on identifying key opportunities to strengthen two-way academic mobility mechanisms, as well as ways to more effectively promote, develop and facilitate partnerships with special attention to indigenous populations and gender equality. This HCWG saw participation from education institutions and associations, and federal and subnational governments. Representatives from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SHERC) and Mitacs were also present. As in previous years, this year’s meeting also included a session on advancing the development of human capital, research and innovation in the energy sector with participation from members of the Energy Working Group (EWG). A new meeting structure that encouraged more interactive discussions was introduced and received positive feedback from participants. The HCWG will use the results of this meeting to develop an Action Plan for 2019-2020 to be discussed at the next Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP) in 2019.

Key Results of Action Plan 2017-2018

List of Achievements:

Since the last meeting of the HCWG on November 23, 2017 in Mexico City, the participants have demonstrated concrete results in the areas of academic collaboration, technical and scientific cooperation, and mobility. Some of the key results on both sides include:

  • Mexico was the 12th largest source of international students studying in Canada in 2017, and the 3rd largest source from the Americas. Over 20,000 students from Mexico chose Canada as a study destination in 2017 for language training, exchange programs or full-time study. Additionally, a combined total of 22,000 Mexicans came to Canada since 2015 as part of the Proyecta 10,000 initiative, whose aim is to increase the higher education mobility of Mexican students to Canada. Under the initiative, priority has been given to low-income and rural students, indigenous communities, and women, particularly those enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs; a total of 2,400 women enrolled in various STEM fields, specifically, have benefited from this initiative.
  • In February 2018, Mitacs Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for researcher mobility with Guanajuato’s Institute of Finance and Information for Education (EDUCAFIN). Mitacs further renewed and expanded partnerships with Tec de Monterrey, EDUCAFIN and the Mexican Secretariat for Public Education (SEP) for two-way mobility of researchers through the Globalink Research Internship Program and the Globalink Research Award Program. Mitacs is working with the United States - Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC) to develop industrial research internship programs in Mexico and continues to work with the CALDO Consortium to promote their research mobility programs in Mexico.
  • In May 2018, Universities Canada led a delegation of eight Canadian university presidents, along with the executive heads of SSHRC, the National Science and Engineering Research Council, Mitacs and the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE) to Mexico City. The mission concluded with seven new MOUs on themes ranging from collaborative diabetes research to expanding opportunities for international graduate research placements. Mexican partners identified interest in further collaboration with Canadian universities in the areas of oil and gas, ICT and Indigenous higher education. A follow up mission of Mexican university presidents is being considered by Universities Canada and Mexico’s National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions (ANUIES).
  • In spring 2018, Languages Canada (LC) launched a call for proposals for co-funded scholarships to bring postsecondary students and secondary language teachers to Canada. Algonquin College, Lakehead University and University of Toronto, in partnership with EDUCAFIN, developed customized English as a second language mobility programs in summer 2018 for Mexican students. Future areas for collaboration for LC include developing an action plan with the Mexican Consortium of Universities (CUMEX) and exploring further partnership possibilities with the State of Mexico.
  • In 2018, AMEXCID launched an innovative program aimed to support the exchange of students from indigenous communities. Through this program, thirty-six Canadian students from indigenous communities will experience a short exchange at an intercultural or bilingual university in Mexico. Canadian delegates who travelled to Mexico this year, including representatives from Universities Canada, the Saskatchewan Alliance and several others, worked to strengthen partnerships, cooperation and exchange in indigenous mobility.
  • Mexico continues to support programs such as the Mexican Government’s Merit Awards, through which AMEXCID offers fifteen annual scholarships for Canadian students and researchers.

Key themes for HCWG 2018

Encouraging Opportunities for Student, Faculty and Staff Mobility

The Co-Chairs facilitated a discussion focused on identifying opportunities and mechanisms for increasing two-way mobility for youth, faculty and staff. The HCWG discussed the need for leveraging and building on the multitude of existing linkages. Delegates from Mexico raised the possibility of a common promotion strategy and the potential for other mechanisms, such as summer research programs and double degrees, to further increase mobility. Stakeholders proposed increasing opportunities for faculty mobility as a driver to grow student mobility and research cooperation from Canada to Mexico.

Promoting Indigenous Education and Academic Exchange

The Co-Chairs facilitated a discussion on collaboration on indigenous and cultural higher education exchanges, including new developments and opportunities for furthering mobility and scholarship opportunities for indigenous students. Stakeholders highlighted several initiatives they are pursuing in indigenous partnerships, as indicated in the List of Achievements section of the report. Given the growing interest in this area, stakeholders expressed interest in developing a separate working group or session on indigenous cooperation and exchange.

Advancing a Gendered Approach to Education Cooperation

The HCWG looked at education cooperation through a gender lens, and several examples were given on ways to promote women in STEM, encourage women to pursue senior academic leadership positions and inspire women to get fully involved in multiple fields.

The IOHE spoke about the Space for Women Leaders from Higher Education Institutions in the Americas (EMULIES), a platform for academic exchange and skills development, and a forum for female leaders from Higher Education Institutions in the Americas to collaborate on shared interests. The International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC) and the Canadian Hispanic Business Alliance (CHBA) contributed $100,000 in scholarships to women from Spanish-speaking countries to study English in Canada, while Mexican partners expressed interest in this scholarship initiative continuing into 2019. The HCWG agreed that further commitments to promoting women in non-traditional sectors such as mining, oil and gas are necessary to support female students and establish mentorship networks.

Advancing the development of human capital, research and innovation in the energy sector

A joint session was held between the HCWG and some members of the Energy Working Group. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) reported on key themes from their teleconference discussion with the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER) including energy priorities, indigenous participation, and clean energy and technology innovation. Updates on cooperation between Canadian and Mexican universities and changes to the North American tri-lateral relationship were also discussed. 

Grants from SENER and Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT) have connected researchers from the Schulich School of Engineering and the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary with the Mexican Institute of Petroleum (IMP) and researchers from the School of Public Policy at ITESM. The University of Calgary is also working with Mexican counterparts on research, teaching, and public outreach activities, including educating Mexican students in pipeline engineering via the TransCanada Mexico Pipeline Engineering Program.   

The CONACyT-SENER Hydrocarbon Fund continues to support researchers at the University of Alberta on joint delivery of academic programs, certificates and a professional graduate degree in Integrated Petroleum Geosciences. A close partnership has also been established between the Mexican Centre for Bioenergy Innovation (CEMIE-Bio) and the University of Alberta Future Energy Systems Institute for joint research projects in the areas of Biogas, Biomass, BioJetfuels, Bio Alcohols and Bio diesel.

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) continues to promote researcher mobility opportunities under the Pacific Alliance Education for Employment Program (EFE-PA). Funded by the Inter-American Affairs Division of GAC, this five-year program will support sustainable development and skills for employment in the extractive sector of the Pacific Alliance until 2021.

Research partnerships

Research partnerships were a new theme added to the 2018 agenda. The Co-Chairs noted the appetite on both sides for joint research, with an idea proposed to create a new Canada-Mexico fund for research cooperation. Stakeholders expressed strong interest in developing short-term exchange options for Canadian undergraduate students in order to fuel further interest in long-term graduate and post-graduate research opportunities in Mexico.

Language Education

The HCWG underlined the importance of promoting English and French language opportunities in Mexican institutions and Spanish language opportunities in Canadian institutions. The HCWG drew attention to programs for Indigenous Mexican women and for capacity building for teachers of English, French and Spanish. Delegates from Mexico emphasized the growing demand for technical English as a second language programs, highlighting opportunities for Canadian companies to train Mexicans in this area. Stakeholders recognized that a higher take up of Spanish language learning in Canada could act as a mechanism for increasing mobility to Mexico.

Conclusions

The HCWG concluded on a very positive note with the Co-Chairs agreeing that the past year was a productive year with an impressive number of successful missions, visits, delegations, projects, new MOUs and promising new pilot programs. The HCWG remains focused on information sharing to advance the training of high-skilled workers, strengthen linguistic capacities and increase the mobility of students, faculty, staff and researchers.

The HCWG committed to continue its work towards fostering synergies and supporting existing bilateral collaboration. In particular, the Co-Chairs emphasized the importance of international experience for youth in regards to developing intercultural sensitivity, leadership skills, foreign language proficiency, and personal and professional networks.

The Co-Chairs will work with participants in 2019 to outline an Action Plan for 2019-2020 to be discussed at the next CMP in 2019.

Mining working group

Mexican Co-ChairS

Dr. Israel Gutiérrez Guerrero
Director General,
Mining Development Bank (FIFOMI), Secretariat of Economy

Canadian Co-ChairS

Photinie Koutsavlis
A/Director General, Policy and Economics Branch, Land and Minerals Sector
Natural Resources Canada
(NRCan)

I. Introduction and objectives

The third meeting of the Mining Working Group was co-chaired by Photinie Koutsavlis, A/Director General, Policy and Economics Branch, Lands and Minerals Sector, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and Dr. Israel Gutiérrez Guerrero, Director General, Mining Development Bank (FIFOMI), Secretariat of Economy.

Working group participants included:

  • The Government of Mexico, including the Secretariat of Economy, the Geological Survey of Mexico, and the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit;
  • The Government of Canada, including NRCan, Global Affairs Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency;
  • The Mexican private sector, including Succeshill & Co S.A.P.I. de C.V., Accendo Bank, and Compañia Minera Autlan SAB de CV;
  • The Canadian private sector, including the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), Excellon Resources, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico’s Mining Task Force, and Goldcorp; and
  • Civil society, including Canada’s Mining Industry Human Resources Council and Colleges and Institutes Canada.

The Mining Working Group focused on a variety of topics linked to sustainable mining, including discussions around opportunities to deepen understanding, explore areas of mutual interest, and consider how to advance priorities with multi-stakeholder support.

II. Results

Through technical sessions and roundtable discussions, participants exchanged experiences and information on:

  • Sustainable mining, including MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) standard and the Mexican Geological Survey’s online mapping tools;
  • Responsible business conduct and the Voluntary Principles Initiative, including Mexican and Canadian mining sectors’ experiences implementing responsible business frameworks;
  • Indigenous engagement, conflict resolution, and employment, including Canadian experiences in the energy sector in both Canada and Mexico, and FIFOMI’s efforts to develop a protocol for Indigenous consultation; and
  • Environmental innovation, including the Government of Canada’s Impact Canada initiative and Minera Autlan’s sustainable management system.

III. Future Activities

Following from these discussions, co-chairs committed to explore collaboration related to:

  • Organizing a working session between Canadian and Mexican governments that could include:
    • Collaborative work to advance Indigenous consultation and participation in resource development, together with the Energy Working Group and Environment Working Group;
    • A workshop with the Canadian and Mexican governments, MAC, and the Mexican Chamber of Mines (CAMIMEX) on TSM and increasing public confidence in mining; and
    • A workshop between the Canadian and Mexican Geological Surveys to share Mexico’s online mapping and data tools.
  • Working sessions to discuss mine financing with key Mexican and Canadian stakeholders (e.g., Accendo Bank, Toronto Stock Exchange).
  • Exploring the idea of creating a joint Canada-Mexico mining prize-based challenge to eliminate the use of cyanide in gold processing, with industry and government support.
  • Sharing of information and best practices to facilitate:
    • Labour mobility and workforce development work (skills and training), together with private and not-for-profit organizations (e.g., Mining Industry Human Resources Council); and
    • Harmonization of Canadian and Mexican standards related to mining (e.g., health and safety, sustainable mining practices, and responsible business conduct at home and abroad).

IV. Challenges and opportunities

The incoming Mexican administration has a stated focus on mining, as well as on Canada-Mexico collaboration in areas of mutual interest including sustainable mining, women in mining, and Indigenous engagement, creating a range of possible opportunities for engagement. Other challenges and opportunities include the issues of standards harmonization and labour mobility between Canada and Mexico.

Once the administration is in place, Canada and Mexico will have an opportunity to advance common themes of mutual interest in the mining sector in accordance with governmental priorities. Much of this collaboration is likely to take place under the auspices of the Canada-Mexico Partnership.

Trade, investment and innovation working group (TIIWG)

MEXICAN CO-CHAIR
Salvador Behar Lavalle
General Director for North America, Secretariat of the Economy (SE)
José Treviño – Consejo Empresarial Mexicano de Comercio Exterior (COMCE)

Canadian Co-Chair
Sara Wilshaw
Director General, North America Network, Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
Trevor Kennedy – Business Council of Canada.

Introduction and objectives

The objective of the TIIWG is to strengthen the dialogue between our governments, and to support the growing needs and activities of Canadian and Mexican companies doing business in each other’s markets.
The co-chairs noted that this had been a busy year for the TIIWG, which included several new initiatives, some of which involved the co-chairs themselves. The Business Leaders’ event at the Espace C2 in Montreal last January was attended by both co-chairs and touted as a great example of our governments facilitating interaction between Canadian and Mexican businesses.

Another initiative from last year’s action plan, and praised by participants, was the 1st Canada-Mexico Private Capital meeting, bringing together more than 30 VC/PE funds from Canada and Mexico, with the objective of promoting capital investments in early stage ICT, life science, fintech and other technology companies. 

The participation of new individuals and organizations to this meeting was also recognized as an important practice to maintain a relevant and progressive working group, capable of adapting to new realities and a changing environment.

In particular, the co-chairs welcomed the contributions of the Treasury Board Secretariat, Statistics Canada, the Women Business Centre in Mexico, AMEXCAP, Canada Venture Capital and Private Equity Canada, Invest in Canada and the provinces of Quebec and Alberta.  During discussions, there were also many references to Export Development Canada (EDC), and so efforts should be made to include EDC in future meetings.

Results

The TIIWG reviewed progress and results from the 2017/18 Action Plan and discussed short and medium term initiatives.  In addition to initiatives mentioned above, ProMexico and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) reported that dozens of activities and projects had been undertaken in each other’s markets.  It was agreed that sharing information amongst our organizations on planned activities and initiatives, and facilitating face to face interactions between Mexican and Canadian businesses were important steps to increasing trade and investment opportunities. 

As AMEXCAP, ProMexico and GAC reported on various initiatives, it became clear that more emphasis was being placed on new and emerging sectors including life sciences, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and digital media – and that organizations such as AMEXCAP and the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) could have important roles in helping further develop those industries in both markets.

A Statistics Canada presentation, on the Canada-Mexico trade data reconciliation exercise, confirmed the importance of rigorous data analysis, particularly as we further define our trading relationship and explore new and emerging opportunities between our countries.  There was interest from participants around the table in expanding the scope of the analysis to include investment data as well as flows of venture capital, private equity and others funds. This needs to be further discussed with Statistics Canada.

There was agreement that a bilateral subcommittee should be formed, for the duration of the data reconciliation exercise (approximately two years) to monitor and report on progress of the work, and ensure the collaboration of all relevant organizations.

Invest in Canada updated the TIIWG on the status of its implementation, and ProMexico made a presentation on its activities this year.  The group agreed that this is an area where we will continue to work closely to promote two-way investment opportunities and continue our collaboration.

There was significant interest in a presentation by the Treasury Board Secretariat, which described a Canada-Mexico MOU on the Advancement of Good Regulatory Practices (GRP).  While its implementation will strengthen the bilateral relationship between Canada and Mexico, there are plans to work together to advance GRP across Latin America and the Caribbean.  

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was discussed and identified as the platform that will enable a secure and predictable trading relationship between our countries. In that context, the group discussed its shared objectives around competitiveness, and how the USMCA’s Chapter on Competitiveness will provide a structure for work in this regard.  The SME Chapter will also be important in supporting SME exports and trade diversification objectives.  The group also discussed leveraging other Free Trade Agreements to assist with each other’s diversification efforts, including potential collaborations to access third markets.
The Women Business Centre Mexico made a short presentation on its efforts to prepare Mexican women entrepreneurs in exporting to new markets and in partnering with foreign owned businesses. The TIIWG would be interested in learning more about the Centre’s experience, particularly in the context of working with SMEs.

There was discussion on what was meant by the term “diversification”, given its relevance to both Mexico and Canada.  While the traditional interpretation would imply diversifying trade away from a predominant market, the WG agreed that diversification was much broader and could involve exporting to new regions within an existing market, sectoral or even inter-sectoral diversification – not to mention enabling underrepresented groups in exports.
The TIIWG recognized the importance of joint collaboration with Mexican states and Canadian provinces to further develop regional trade connectivity and interconnection at the state/provincial level.  Through the data reconciliation project, the TIIWG hopes to improve the availability and quality of sub-national data.

The Consejo Empresarial Mexicano de Comercio Exterior (COMCE) confirmed its desire to be more involved in projects undertaken under this group.  The TIIWG will endeavour to work closely with COMCE and the Business Council of Canada (BCC), to find areas where both associations can participate in joint projects.  It will also follow up with COMCE (and the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – CME) on an existing MOU/agreement between the two, to see how it can be leveraged and/or revitalized. A longer term goal of the TIIWG will be to consider initiatives to more effectively engage Canadian and Mexican business leaders in the future.  A CEO Summit, for instance, would allow us to interact more effectively with businesses, including seek feedback to better serve their interests.  

The TIIWG and the Culture and Creativity working groups held a joint session to discuss potential projects that could be of interest to both groups.  While the Culture and Creativity WG will be meeting a few days following this discussion, it was agreed that sharing each other’s list of projects would be a good practice, from which we could potentially identify projects of common interest. 

Next Steps

While potential projects were raised by Canada and Mexico, more detailed lists from ProMexico, AMEXCAP and GAC are attached to this report.  Provinces will also be given an opportunity to share their lists with the group.
Once this is done, the TIIWG will be in a better position to determine how it can work more closely with the Culture and Creativity working group (and potentially other groups), and where it would be most appropriate to involve business partners such as COMCE and BCC.

The TIIWG will follow up with COMCE and the CME to gather more details about their agreement/MOU, and explore possibilities to revitalize it. 

The TIIWG will also follow up with Statistics Canada to ensure proper attention and resources are assigned to the realization of this important project.

Proposed CMP Initiatives from MEXICO (2018-2019)

From AMEXCAP

  1. Organize a meeting at AMEXCAP Summit in Mexico City, March 2019
    • Workshop to share best practices between AMEXCAP, the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and if possible other Associations from the region.
    • Innovation and Investment Tour for Canadian funds and Institutional Investors.
  2. Organize the 2nd Canada-Mexico Private Capital Meeting in Canada in June 2019 as a side event of the CVCA annual meeting.
    • Meetings One on One
    • Workshops
  3. Research collaboration among CVCA and AMEXCAP

From PROMEXICO

  1. Venture Capital Funds
    • In collaboration with AMEXCAP (see above), support a second mission of Mexican private equity (PE) funds to Canada.*
    • Promote visit of the Toronto Financial Service Alliance (TFSA) and the CVCA to Mexico and the National Association of Angel Investors of Canada (NACO) to México.*

      *All dates to be confirmed with AMEXCAP.

  2. Critical Process Manufacturing Initiative - Joint Ventures
    • Coordinate the visit of Mexican Mold Making Companies to Canada to participate in the 2019 Windsor Mold Expo (Nov. 2019), with the purpose of exploring potential JV´s between Canadian and Mexican Counterparts.
  3. Trade, Innovation & Investment Business & Entrepreneur Delegation Exchange
    • Bring a delegation of Mexican Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurs to Collision 2019 to be held in Toronto in May.
  4. Women Delegation Exchange y Business Acceleration
    • Work with Ontario Women in International Trade (OWIT) and Mexico-US Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC) in leading joint woman in business delegations to Canada (date TBC) and Mexico (Monterrey, February 2019).
  5. Bootcamp, for the Internacionalization of Mexican companies to the Canadian Market.
    • Work together with LATAM Startups and the Institute for Creative Exchange (ICE), in at least 3 Bootcamps for Mexican Companies looking to internationalize in Canada.
  6. Provinces roadshows
    • Based on the interested provinces from Canada and States from Mexico, our agencies will assist in suggesting agendas that will encourage the objectives of the TIIWG.
  7. Innovation Bridge - Creative Industries
    • Work together with LATAM Startups and ICE, in cross border high-tech/innovation meetups in Canada and Mexico.
  8. Trade & Investment Business & Entrepreneur Delegation Exchange
    • Work closely with the Trade Commissioner Services of Canada and the Representations of the Canadian Provinces in Mexico as well as State Government Trade Promotion Agencies to exchange delegations of business people and entrepreneurs in the fields promoted by the TIIWG.

Proposed CMP Initiatives from CANADA (2018-2019)

1. Canadian Participation to the 2019 AMEXCAP Summit
In follow-up to the June 2018 1st Canada-Mexico Private Capital Meeting, link Canadian and Mexican venture capital funds to create a new vehicle to support and finance start-up companies and innovation projects from both countries with the objective of increasing and accelerating their expansion and reach in North America.

Participants:

Mexico:  ProMexico, INADEM and AMEXCAP

Canada:  GAC (Embassy of Canada to Mexico, North America Commercial Network Division, Science, Technology and Innovation Division) and CVCA

Timelines:

Nov 2018 to Jan 2019: Partners to agree on working plan; Joint Meeting with AMEXCAP; Outreach to CVCA and Canadian funds

March 2019: Mission and Canada Event at AMEXCAP Summit in Mexico

2. ICT Missions to Mexico
The initiative aims to support Canadian ICT exporters that are interested in starting or expanding their business in Mexico, through the development of business relationships that lead to the commercialization of Canadian technology. Post will organize B2B meetings for Canadian companies participating in two separate subsector-focused Missions to Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

Participants:

Mexico: ProMexico and AMITI

Canada: GAC (Embassy of Canada to Mexico, Consulate General of Canada in Monterrey, Consulate of Canada in Guadalajara), Export Development Canada (EDC), provinces of QC, ON and AB

Timelines:

The missions are planned for November 26-30, 2018 (software) and March 11-15, 2019 (cybersecurity)

3. Famex 2019 (Aerospace trade show)
Canada will be the Country of Honour for the 3rd edition FAMEX in 2019, Mexico's main aerospace trade show. The Mexican Air Force itself organizes this commercial event, focused on civil, military and defensive aeronautics. It will take place at the Military Airbase No. 1, a large area that allows for outdoors exhibition of large aircrafts and airshows. Canada will have a large presence with three pavilions (Canada, Alberta, Ontario) covering between 220 to 250 square metres.   Post will also organize B2B meetings for participating Canadian companies.

Participants:

Mexico:  Mexican Air Force (SEDENA), Secretaría de Economía, ProMexico, FEMIA

Canada:  GAC (Embassy of Canada to Mexico), Canadian Commercial Corporation, provinces of AB and ON, Transport Canada, and Unmanned Systems Canada.

Timelines:

April 2019

4. Trade, Innovation & Investment Business & Entrepreneur Delegation Exchange
Foster collaboration between Canadian and Mexican entities on sectoral business initiatives.

Participants:

Mexico: ProMexico and Bancomext 

Canada: GAC (Embassy of Canada to Mexico) and Export Development Canada.

Timelines:

All year

5. Foreign Direct Investment Roadshow (Introduced last year)
Promote FDI opportunities in Canada through three initiatives in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey with the participation of the three provinces that have a presence in Mexico.

Participants:

Mexico: ProMexico and COMCE 

Canada: GAC (Embassy of Canada to Mexico, Investor Services Division, North America Commercial Network Division) and provinces of QC, AB, ON

Timelines:

December 2018

6. Data Development and Sharing (Introduced last year)
In an effort to better understand the actual value/volume of merchandise trade between Canada and Mexico, a study is being carried out to identify and quantify (where possible) the causes of these differences - with the ultimate goal of reconciliation.  Results of the study may help determine areas that require further analysis.

Participants:

Mexico: TBD  

Canada: GAC (North America Commercial Network Division, Trade and Economic Analysis Division) and Statistics Canada

Timelines:

Ongoing

7. Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Trade Mission to Monterrey

The Toronto chapter of Organization of Women in International Trade, partnered with the Government of Ontario, and City of Toronto, will bring a mission of 7-10 businesswomen to Monterrey to promote Canadian exports to Mexico's northeast. This initiative builds on numerous events that MNTRY has organized with the local equivalent of OWIT, starting with Minister Champagne's visit to Monterrey in May 2017, and a seminar on the aerospace sector in February 2018.

The mission will specifically target the advanced manufacturing sector, including aerospace and auto. 

MNTRY will support the mission with funding to hire a consultant for the B2B agenda, as well as to reserve meeting space in Monterrey. 

Participants:

Mexico: Organization of Women in Trade - Monterrey

Canada: GAC (Consulate General of Canada in Monterrey, Business Women in Trade) and province of Ontario

Timelines:

February 2019


1 December 2017. Special session on: Advances in Monitoring and Reporting GHG and Sinks Across Land Use Categories, American Geophysical Union. New Orleans, USA. https://meetings.agu.org

April 2018. Workshop on: Methodological approaches for the quantification of forest degradation, with participants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Brazil and USA. CONAFOR, USFS, SilvaCarbon, FMCN, Ecometrica, UK Space Agency, FIPRODEFO. Jalisco, Mexico.

May 2018. Workshop on: Modeling carbon dynamics in forest ecosystems of Mexico to support decision making for mitigation scenarios, with participants.

July 2018 –Workshop on Carbon estimation in forests for timber production, with participants from government, academia and local foresters. USFS, CONAFOR, FMCN. Oaxaca, Mexico. http://www.usfsmex.org/talleres/

September 2018. Session on Modeling Toolkits and Frameworks, Forestry & Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Modeling Forum. Shepherdstown, West Virginia, USA

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Date Modified:
2019-03-14