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State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Suzuki Attended the 2016 Ministerial Meeting of Digital Economy: Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity

State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Suzuki visited Cancun and other cities in Mexico from Sunday, June 19 to Saturday, June 25, 2016 in order to attend the 2016 Ministerial Meeting of Digital Economy: Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity and other meetings. Upon this occasion, he exchanged opinions with Ms. Axelle Lemaire, Minister of State for Digital Affairs attached to the Minister of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector of France.

Furthermore, he had a bilateral meeting with Dr. Francisco Leopoldo de Rosenzweig Mendialdua, Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economy (SE), in Mexico City to discuss the development of the business environment in Mexico, a country in which many Japanese companies have been expanding business in recent years. In the Republic of Panama, State Minister Suzuki exchanged opinions with Mr. Jorge L. Quijano, Administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, concerning the expansion of the Panama Canal, and also exchanged opinions with the Ministry of Public Security of Panama concerning the development of the business environment.

1. 2016 Ministerial Meeting of Digital Economy: Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity

Dr. Choi Yanghee, Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, served as the master of ceremony for the Panel “Tomorrow’s Internet of Things.” Participants had active discussions concerning policy direction and problems to be addressed for IoT to be a strong driving force for the future growth of the world economy and contribute to solving various social challenges.

State Minister Suzuki explained that Japan is utilizing IoT to solve various social challenges that the nation now faces ahead of many peer countries, such as an aging population with a declining birth rate, natural disasters, and energy constraints.

Additionally, he explained that in order to maximize the IoT’s potentiality, it is necessary for all participants to agree on the principle of free flow of data across borders, and oppose any excessive restrictions which would hinder trade and investment, such as data localization requirement to locate computing facilities in the territory, and the requirement for access to or transfer of source code, thereby facilitating the growth of the world economy.

Based on such discussions, the Ministerial Meeting adopted a declaration stating their commitment to promoting free flow of information.

2. Opinion exchange with Ms. Axelle Lemaire, Minister of State for Digital Affairs, the Ministry of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector of France

State Minister Suzuki exchanged opinions with Ms. Axelle Lemaire, Minister of State for Digital Affairs, the Ministry of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector of France, with regard to free flow of data across borders and both parties agreed to promote industrial cooperation for facilitating IoT.

3. Opinion exchange with the Mexican Government

In opinion exchange with Mexican Undersecretary of Ministry of Economy Rosenzweig, both parties confirmed their commitment to strengthen bilateral economic relations and to make efforts for the early adoption of the TPP. State Minister Suzuki expressed Japan’s expectation that the Mexican Government’s energy reform will result in expanding exports of resources to Japan. Regarding the issue of oversupply of iron and steel, both parties agreed to continue cooperation while utilizing opportunities of G20 meetings.

4. Opinion exchange with Japanese companies in Mexico

State Minister Suzuki visited the Inland Port Industrial Complex in the Bajio region, where many auto-related Japanese companies have established plants. Matsuda, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota have successively publicized their investment plans and the number of Japanese companies in Mexico has almost reached 1000. Against this backdrop, State Minister Suzuki exchanged opinions with supplier companies concerning the future prospects and challenges of the Bajio region. Investments in the region will continue to be active including those by companies in Western countries, but the development has been too fast while the infrastructure development regarding legal affairs, tax affairs, and accounting is much slower than in Asian countries, and there is a lack of sufficient services concerning translation, accommodation and food, etc. It was confirmed that meticulous support needs to be provided, especially to SMEs that are going to start business in this region.

5. Opinion exchange with the Panamanian Government

In opinion exchange with Mr. Jorge L. Quijano, CEO of the Panama Canal Authority, both parties confirmed the significance of the Panama Canal. State Minister Suzuki also visited the Ministry of Public Safety of Panama and exchanged opinions concerning the utilization of Japan’s high technologies in Panamanian public safety management systems, while mutually confirming the importance of maintaining public safety in the business environment in Panama.

Release date

June 27, 2016

Divisions in Charge

  • Latin America and Caribbean Office, Trade Policy Bureau
  • Office of International Affairs, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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