Foreign Minister HAYASHI’s Attendance at the First G7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting
On April 4, commencing at 2:00 p.m. (local time, 9:00 p.m. JST) for approximately 2 hours, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan who is visiting Belgium, cochaired the first “G7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting”, which was held virtually, with Mr. NISHIMURA Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
G7 Trade Ministers as well as Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Discussion 1 only), DirectorGeneral of the WTO, participated in the meeting.
- At the beginning of the meeting, Minister Hayshi stated that, in light of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the emergence of new challenges such as climate change and digital technology, and the urgent need to ensure economic security, this year's G7 Trade Track will focus on and deepening discussions on two pillars: maintaining and strengthening a free and fair trade system, and enhancing economic security. Minister Hayashi also pointed out the importance of a candid exchange of views among members who share fundamental values, in order to address the current challenges facing the free and fair trade system.
- Under Discussion 1 (Maintaining and Strengthening a Free and Fair Trade System), Minister Hayashi chaired the discussion, and Director-General Okonjo-Iweala introduced the current state of discussions in Geneva toward the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13), which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in February 2024. G7 Trade Ministers then held discussions on this agenda and confirmed their continuing close cooperation toward the MC13, including for advancing WTO reform, including DS reform.
- Under Discussion 2 (Enhancing Economic Security), discussions focused on enhancing economic security, including efforts to strengthen supply chain resiliency and countering economic coercion. Minister Hayashi pointed out that economic coercion is a strategic issue that should be addressed by the international community in cooperation, and stressed the importance of deepening common understanding among the G7 members. Minister Hayashi also emphasized the importance of addressing any excessive dependence on particular countries and building and maintaining resilient supply chains.
- As an outcome of this meeting, the G7 Trade Ministers’ Statement was adopted. At the closing of the meeting, Minister Hayashi stated that based on the outcome of this meeting and discussions at the Leader’s level at the G7 Hiroshima Summit, he would like to continue the discussions at the ministerial level toward the 2nd Trade Ministers’ Meeting in October, aiming for further outcomes, and to drive discussions in Geneva regarding the WTO. The G7 members confirmed to continue to work closely together.