World Trade Organization (WTO)

May 2, 2024

On May 2, commencing at 7:45 p.m. local time (May 3, 2:45 a.m. JST), for approximately two hours, Senator the Hon. Tim Ayers, Assistant Minister for Trade of Australia, hosted the World Trade Organization (WTO) informal ministerial meeting in Paris. From the Japanese side, Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Mr. SAITO Ken, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, attended. This meeting is held each year on the occasion of the Meeting of the Council at Ministerial Level (MCM) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with relevant countries invited by Australia.

  1. At the meeting, participating Ministers actively exchanged views on how to move forward the discussions at the WTO, including those on WTO Reform, by building upon the outcomes achieved at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13), which was held in Abu Dhabi (UAE) in February this year.
  2. Minister Kamikawa, by pointed out that it was a common understanding amongst the Ministers participated in the MCM earlier today that the WTO remains the cornerstone of the multilateral trading system, emphasized that each WTO Member needs to recall the magnitude of the gains and benefits that the WTO is bringing to global free trade and to achieve tangible results with a sense of urgency.
  3. In addition, Minister Kamikawa urged to focus on resolving the remaining issues of MC13 and pointed out the importance of the early entry into force of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies and of finalizing the negotiations on the second phase of the Agreement. Furthermore, with respect to Joint Statement Initiative (JSI), Minister Kamikawa called for the necessity to incorporate the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement into the WTO Agreements, and stressed to work for the conclusion of the e-commerce negotiations by this summer.
  4. The participating ministers confirmed that, by building upon the outcomes achieved at MC13, they would continue to cooperate closely at the WTO.

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