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Minister Edano Attended the 2012 APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT)

Mr. Yukio Edano, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Mr. Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, the Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, participated the APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) held in Kazan, Russia, from June 4 to 5. Utilizing this opportunity, Minister Edano had bilateral meetings with Amb. Ronald Kirk, the United States Trade Representative, H.E. Andrey Belousov, the Minister of Economic Development of Russian Federation, H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, the Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore, H.E. Bruno Ferrari Garcia de Alba, the Secretary of Economy of Mexico, H.E. Ed Fast, the Minister of International Trade of Canada, and H.E. Tim Groser, the Minister of Trade of New Zealand.

1. APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade 2012

1) Key priorities for APEC 2012

Participants of the APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade, chaired by Minister Belousov, intensively discussed prioritized topics of APEC 2012, such as trade and investment facilitation and regional economic integration, trade liberalization of environmental goods, and promotion of innovation. This year is the first time for Russia to take the chairmanship of APEC.

Concerning trade and investment liberalization, Japan showed its determination to reinforce efforts for enhancing economic partnership in the APEC region, including the TPP and the RCEP, aiming at the realization of Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). Other APEC economies shared the same view on this issue.

As for trade liberalization of environmental goods which was agreed upon at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting(AELM) in Honolulu last year, the APEC economies are resolved and dedicating all available resources by the APEC Ministerial Meeting(AMM) in September 2012 to work to develop an APEC list of environmental goods..

Regarding innovation, Japan pointed out that the cooperation beyond national borders and organizational constrains is significantly important for promoting innovation, and, establishing the solid foundation of trust between the APEC economies through efforts including protecting intellectual property rights and providing non-discriminatory environments for businesses is necessary for that goal.

The consensus reached at this MRT was incorporated and summarized in the Ministerial Statement, and Ministers in APEC economies confirmed that they would continue to strengthen efforts to create further concrete outcomes towards the AMM and the AELM to be held in Vladivostok, Russia, in September 2012.

2) Supporting the multilateral trade system

Minister Edano stated that [i] the economies should maintain the commitment made in Honolulu last year to resisting protectionism and that [ii] actions should be enhanced for the purpose of early conclusion of the negotiations for expanding the ITA. In addition to the Ministerial Statement, the economies adopted a "Statement on supporting the multilateral trading system and resisting protectionism," both of which introduced Japan's opinions.

2. Bilateral Meetings

1) Amb. Ronald Kirk, United States Trade Representative

Minister Edano talked with Amb. Kirk on certain issues, such as Japan-U.S. economic ties, TPP and APEC.
Concerning TPP, Amb. Kirk mentioned the fields of interest for U.S. stakeholders, such as the auto industry, and Minister Edano explained the current situation of issues in Japan, etc. Both sides agreed to continue to positively discuss the issues.

2) H.E. Andrey Belousov, Minister of Economic Development of Russia

Minister Edano acclaimed Russia's successful hosting of the meeting and its joining the WTO as a member as planned in 2012. Japan pointed out that development of the business environment in Russia is necessary for the further development of interdependent Japan-Russia economic ties. Minister Edano and H.E. Belousov also exchanged their views on the significance of the energy resources project in the eastern Siberia area in the Far East.

3) H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore

Both sides exchanged their views on Japan-Singapore economic ties and TPP, confirmed solid steps to be taken towards commencing the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) within this year, and agreed to continue cooperation in the areas of infrastructure and smart communities.

4) H.E. Bruno Ferrari Garcia de Alba, Secretary of Economy of Mexico

Both sides exchanged their views on Japan-Mexico economic ties, the G20 Summit and TPP.

5) H.E. Tim Groser, Minister of Trade of New Zealand

Both sides confirmed that they would steadily advance the RCEP, and they talked about TPP.

6) H.E. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade of Canada

Both sides talked about Japan-Canada economic ties and TPP, including the exporting of shale gas from Canada to Japan.


Release Date

June 7, 2012

Division in Charge

APEC Office, Trade Policy Bureau

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