Statement by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Decisions Relating to the Trade Facilitation Agreement etc. at the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
1. The Government of Japan welcomes the adoption of the Protocol of Amendment to insert the Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) into the WTO Agreement (Protocol amending the WTO Agreement), at the Special Session of the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held in Geneva on November 27 (same day local time).
2. If the TFA is implemented it will become the first multilateral agreement with the participation of all member countries to be realized since the founding of the WTO in 1995. The implementation of the TFA promises to have a significant effect in encouraging trade by making customs procedures transparent and prompt. The Government of Japan will continue to strive to have the TFA brought into force and implemented.
3. The Protocol amending the WTO Agreement could not be adopted by the end of July this year, which was the initial deadline, and the implementation of a series of agreements (the “Bali Package”) from last year’s WTO Ministerial Conference became deadlocked, putting the WTO’s negotiating function in a critical situation. The Government of Japan hopes that as a result of the General Council Decisions, including the adoption of the Protocol, the work of the WTO, including the implementation of the “Bali Package,” will get back on track. The Government of Japan will continue to engage in maintaining and strengthening the multilateral trading system.