Foreign Minister Motegi’s attendance at the WTO Informal Ministerial Meeting hosted by Switzerland
On January 29, commencing at 9:00 p.m. Japan time for approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, H.E. Mr. Guy Parmelin, President of the Swiss Confederation, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, hosted the World Trade Organization (WTO) informal ministerial meeting in an online format. From the Japanese side, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. KAJIYAMA Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Mr. NOGAMI Kotaro, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries attended.
- This meeting is held each year on the occasion of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, with relevant countries invited by Switzerland. This year the meeting was held online during Davos Week, which took place from January 25 to 29.
- At the meeting, the participants discussed the priority issues for the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12), which is scheduled to take place this year, including the issue of fisheries subsidies. The meeting successfully added political momentum to promote the urgent agenda of theWTO reform.
- Minister Motegi called for member countries to fill the gaps in order to achieve tangible outcomes at the MC12, and emphasized the following three points:
(1) Members are encouraged to support the proposal by the Ottawa Group in relation to the conditions of trade restrictive measures to prepare for future crises;
(2) Both developed and developing countries should make every effort in order for many Members to agree on high-level rules in e-commerce. Minister Motegi expressed his willingness to share the experience in negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Japan-U.S. Digital Trade Agreement, and the Japan-UK Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, and
(3) All Members should engage in constructive discussion for a workable solution to reform the Appellate Body.
- In addition, many Ministers, including Minister Motegi, called for the expeditious selection of a new Director-General of the WTO.
- The participating Ministers confirmed that they would continue to cooperate closely to achieve the WTO reform.