Foreign Minister Motegi’s Attendance at the G7 Trade Ministers’ First Meeting
On March 31, commencing at 8 p.m. JST for approximately 3 hours, the G7 Trade Ministers’ first meeting was held in a virtual format, hosted by the Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade of the United Kingdom. Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. KAJIYAMA Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended from Japan.
Following the meeting, the United Kingdom issued a chair’s statement summarizing the outcomes of the discussion (PDF).
- This was the first ministerial meeting of the Trade Track established at the G7 for the first time by the UK Presidency. The G7 trade ministers and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), discussed the contribution that global trade can play in tackling the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Regarding WTO reform, the participants had a lively discussion on rule-making which responds to new challenges in the global economy, such as digital economy and health, and concurred in strengthening a free, fair, and sustainable multilateral trading system.
- Minister Motegi stressed the importance for the G7, which shares common values and strategic interests, to unite in tackling challenges in the following areas:
- (1) In preparation for the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference scheduled for the end of this year, the G7 should achieve concrete outcomes in areas such as fisheries subsidies, as well as hold discussions on the dispute settlement reform and the status of developing countries. In addition, the G7 should spearhead rule-making efforts to ensure a level playing field.
- (2) The G7 should agree on a set of high-level principles for digital trade, including Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT), to encourage substantive progress in the WTO negotiations on electronic commerce.
- (3) The G7 should support the initiative by like-minded countries at the WTO and cooperate to make modernized rules that address global economic issues in areas such as the environment, health, and women, in cooperation with third countries including developing countries.
- The Ministers shared the view that, amidst various challenges facing the multilateral trading system, the G7, as a group of the world’s leading democratic trading nations, should take the lead in resolving common issues, and agreed to continue to work closely in the lead-up to the next G7 meeting in May.